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3D Scanning for Dentistry

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3D scanner is a device that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance (i.e. color). The collected data can then be used to construct digital, three dimensional models useful for a wide variety of applications. These devices are used extensively by the entertainment industry in the production of movies and video games. Other common applications of this technology include industrial design, orthotics and prosthetics, reverse engineering and prototyping, quality control/inspection and documentation of cultural artifacts.
Everest System

Photo credit: Geomagic.com

Many different technologies can be used to build these 3D scanning devices; each technology comes with its own limitations, advantages and costs. It should be remembered that many limitations in the kind of objects that can be digitized are still present: for example optical technologies encounter many difficulties with shiny, mirroring or transparent objects. There are however methods for scanning shiny objects, such as covering them with a thin layer of white powder that will help more light photons to reflect back to the scanner. Laser scanners can send trillions of light photons toward an object and only receive a small percentage of those photons back via the optics that they use. The reflectivity of an object is based upon the object’s color or terrestrial albedo. A white surface will reflect lots of light and a black surface will reflect only a small amount of light. Transparent objects such as glass will only refract the light and give false three dimensional information [Wikipedia credit]. 3D Scanning digital imaging and dentistry are merging into one technology innovation – A 3D Scanner for dentistry. KaVo, based in Leutkirch, Germany, is pioneering digital production of dental devices that saves time by automating the process and eliminating the need for adjustment. The new manufacturing process also enables superior materials to be used that are difficult or impossible to incorporate into the traditional manual process. KaVo has adopted many of the digital design technologies traditionally used by auto and aerospace industries. But, the need for individualized products provides a unique challenge for the dental industry. read more ...

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