ScanBodies 101

Implant scanbodies are an essential component of the digital workflow in implant dentistry. They are used to capture accurate digital impressions of dental implants during the scanning process. Here are the basics of implant scanbodies:

  1. Purpose: The primary purpose of an implant scanbody is to provide a reference point for capturing the position and orientation of dental implants in a patient’s mouth. It helps in creating a digital replica of the implant in the computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  2. Design: Implant scanbodies are typically small, cylindrical or conical components made of biocompatible materials such as titanium or zirconia. They are designed to fit onto the implant fixture or abutment, replicating the shape and position of the final restoration.
  3. Compatibility: Scanbodies are available in different sizes and configurations to match the specific implant system being used. It is crucial to select the scanbody that corresponds to the implant system and implant platform being utilized to ensure accurate scanning and compatibility with the digital workflow.
  4. Placement: After the dental implant has been surgically placed and allowed to integrate with the bone, the healing abutment or final abutment is replaced with the scanbody. The scanbody is screwed onto the implant fixture or abutment, ensuring a secure fit. The scanbody should be tightened to the recommended torque value specified by the manufacturer.
  5. Scanning: Once the scanbody is securely in place, an intraoral scanner or laboratory scanner is used to capture digital impressions of the implant site. The scanner scans the surrounding teeth, soft tissues, and the implant scanbody, generating a digital 3D model of the entire area. The position and orientation of the implant can be accurately recorded in the digital model, allowing for precise planning and fabrication of the final restoration.
  6. Digital Workflow: The digital impressions obtained from the scanbody scan are imported into CAD software, where the dental technician or dentist can design the final restoration, such as an implant crown or bridge. The digital design can be further refined and modified as needed before being sent to a milling machine or 3D printer for fabrication.

Implant scanbodies play a crucial role in achieving accurate and precise digital impressions of dental implants. They provide the necessary reference points for capturing the implant position and orientation, facilitating efficient and accurate treatment planning and the creation of customized restorations.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using implant scanbodies, ensuring proper placement and torque values to maintain accuracy in the digital workflow. Dental professionals with expertise in implant dentistry should be involved in the selection, placement, and scanning processes to ensure optimal results.

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