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31 Jul 2018 | Australasian Dental Practice

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3Shape TRIOS makes smile styling a breeze

By Joseph Allbeury

Taking impressions digitally is becoming more and more commonplace in dentistry today. Intraoral scans are proving ideal for all aspects of dentistry and in particular, orthodontics. We spoke to Dr Michael Chan from Iconic Dentistry in South Perth about how he uses the 3Shape TRIOS Wireless intraoral scanner in his practice in conjunction with the SmileStyler orthodontic aligner system.


Dr Chan, please describe your practice.

We have a smaller boutique-style practice in South Perth. We're a general dental practice but there is a strong focus on cosmetic, restorative and facial aesthetic treatments. Our patient demographics range from the extremely affluent to the average mid-socioeconomic group. Our patients are predominantly adults.

Are you generally into technology?

Yes, I'm a bit of a technology geek. When I stumble upon something new, I'd be pondering on how I can justify having it in my life. I wouldn't say I've gotten into every bit of new tech. It would need to make sense from the point-of-view of the amount of time to invest into learning how to use it; the financial outlay; the benefits; efficiency; and general return on investment. Having said that, the "coolness" factor carries a lot of weight too.

How long have you been using the 3Shape TRIOS and what lead you to purchasing it?

The 3Shape TRIOS is fairly new to our practice. I've been using it in my practice since early this year. Over the years, I've played with it many times, so I've had my eye on it for a while now. It's actually our second intraoral scanner. We've had the Planmeca Planscan for nine years now and I've wanted to have another scanner to complement it. In fact, I recently upgraded the Planscan to the brand new Emerald and we actually received both the Emerald and Trios within the space of a month. I feel like we have the best of both worlds now.

The decision to finally purchase the TRIOS was its ability to work seamlessly with external labs - in particular, SmileStyler. I wanted to introduce SmileStyler into the practice and having one intraoral scanner was not efficient enough in our practice. TRIOS has a great workflow to work with SmileStyler and other labs. In clinical practice, efficiency is the key for introducing new tech.

So what do you use it for? Is it easy to use? Do you still take traditional impressions too? How do you choose what to use?

I use TRIOS for doing all work that can be digitised to be sent out. This includes SmileStyler aligners, occlusal splints, diagnostic planning and more complex restorative work such as arch rehabilitations, bridges and some implant work. It's quite an easy system to use. I have the wireless wand and love the ergonomics that not having to deal with a cable provides. The weight balance is also nice. I still use my Planscan too. There are certainly instances where one has advantages over the other and vice versa. My preference is definitely to scan as much as possible. It's cleaner, faster and more comfortable for the patient. However, I feel there is still a place for traditional impressions too.

You mentioned SmileStyler. Did you use this before you had a TRIOS?

No. The workflow for using TRIOS with SmileStyler is extremely efficient however. You scan the mandibular arch, then the maxillary arch and then take the two bite registrations, all using the TRIOS. Typically, all of the scans would be done in around 5 minutes or less. The scan data is then sent to SmileStyler. You enter the patient details, photographic records, radiographs and prescription for the case via an online portal for SmileStyler. The team would then get to work on a proposal for the aligner sequencing and end result. This can be viewed on another software program. It's extremely powerful for case acceptance. Any alterations discussed with the patient can be made very quickly if need be. Once both we and the patient accept the case, SmileStyler then fabricates the aligners.

How does using 3Shape TRIOS benefit your practice?

Overall, having the TRIOS has benefited the practice in many ways. It has streamlined communication with labs, as well as providing accurate data. We've reduced the need for couriers to around half and the benefit of instant upload of information means we can often discuss a case while the patient is still in the chair. Having a 3D record of the patient's dentition at one point in time is an important record too. It's also quite a good practice builder as patients are impressed with the level of technology available. For me, I've never been great at taking impressions and using an intra-oral scanner is so better and much more fun.

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