The iTero Digital Impression System: An Assistant’s Perspective

The iTero Digital Impression System: An Assistant’s Perspective

The struggle to get perfect impressions just got a lot easier.

Cadent’s iTero digital impression system is revolutionizing our jobs as assistants and doctors. No more goopy impression material. No more gag reflex. You are able to simply scan what you would otherwise take an impression of: the opposing arch, final, and bite registration. It’s genius!

Don’t get me wrong - nothing comes without a bit of a challenge. You still have to deal with saliva, small mouths, controlling soft tissue and limited opening, but the iTero makes things so much easier.

You can’t tell what you are going to get when filling a patients mouth with impression material. You cross your fingers and hope you won’t have to take another. Often times you do end up taking another, and another--then just combine all the impressions and hope the labs are able to deal with all the puzzle work.

The assistant takes the opposing arch scan and sets the doctor up to do the final scan

iTero takes the puzzle work out of the equation. You have already captured your opposing arch scan for the doctor and set him/her up to do the final scan. It will take approximately 3-4 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to be scanned. You and the doctor can review each scan on the computer, rotate, flip, and zoom the image to make sure all the margins are captured and the preparation has been reduced enough. If the doctor is not satisfied with any of the images within the set, he/she can add scans of whatever was not captured in the initial scan. Once the final scan is complete the doctor can leave and the assistant fills out the computerized lab slip, enters the lab that will process the restoration, remembers to include the shade, and simply e-mails it off!


The final scan takes about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to be scanned.

This is the best part - once you’re done, you can simply clean up the room. There are no paper lab slips to fill out, no cases to pack and nothing to get in the mail. Everything is done electronically right there while the patient is present. When the patient is complete with temporary and all, you get your room cleaned and move to the next part.

For assistants, efficiency is key; when we run behind our doctors are behind and this can make for a bad day. Using the iTero has changed the pace of our day. We are now done with preparations about 20 minutes ahead of time instead of 20 to 30 minutes behind. If my doctor is happy, I am happy.

Each scan can be rotated, flipped, and zoomed to make sure all margins are captured and the preparation has been reduced enough.

Digital impressions help assistants learn more about what the doctor is doing during the preparation phase of treatment and why he/she does what they do. So often, we simply assist with suctioning, place cord, and fill a tray with impression material. Our doctor looks at the final impression and makes the decision to take another or not. When we are given the OK, we finish off with the fabrication of the temporary without really knowing what just happened. Being able to view the preparation on the screen with the doctor and making all the necessary adjustments as a team makes the assistant a better educator to the patient. You also become a stronger asset to your doctor by freeing up his/her time to move to the next patient.

Don’t think your patient sitting in the chair next to you doesn’t notice the team effort in their treatment - they do! Patients appreciate when you and your doctor work hand-in-hand to make their restoration the best it can possibly be.

Last, but not least, the delivery day. When our patient arrives in the chair, we have already viewed the restoration and made sure our margins look great and the contacts are perfect on the model. The iTero models are milled out of polyurethane. These models make our restorations better. The models are indestructible, more accurate, and more stable than a stone model. When you view your restoration on an iTero model you will appreciate the difference.

Our delivery time is down to 30 minutes with the iTero restorations. Approximately two thirds of our patients go through the delivery appointment without anesthetic. It has become a very comfortable procedure for them. We are able to remove the temporary, clean up excess cement, and try-in the restoration for a contact/margin check with in the first 10 minutes. The doctor will come in make sure it looks great and begin the delivery process. We isolate the tooth, select our delivery method, and deliver. When the cement is set up, we begin our bite check. Approximately half of our restorations need little to no bite adjustments. Our patients are thrilled to be out of the dental chair in such a short period of time—without numbness. They are able to get back to work and we are able to move on to other procedures.

The iTero is changing the way we do dentistry. It is a smoother process from start to finish. No more dreading preparations and delivery appointments because of everything we have to have ready when the patients arrive in our chair. We now just need our instruments and this fancy machine by our side - the iTero.

Enjoy being a part of the new wave of dentistry.

Review Synopsis

The iTero Digital Impression System
The Good

The Bad

The Bottom Line

  • <<
  • >>