When the experts at Elos Medtech Dental began developing the new ScanBody22, they used the company’s patented AccuScan® surface treatment process. The result? The scans produced by the AccuScan-treated ScanBody22 are noticeably crisper than those produced by full-titanium scan bodies treated with physical vapor deposition (PVD). PVD results in surfaces that tend to produce scans with fuzzy edges. This fuzziness in turn leads to less-than-ideal matching between scans and their library files, which can lead to more re-working further down the workflow.
So how was the team behind ScanBody22 able to achieve such scanning accuracy? For Kostas Zarras, an Elos Global Product Manager who was closely involved in the development project, the AccuScan surface treatment really is the decisive factor. “Several factors contribute to the ScanBody22’s accuracy,” says Zarra. “Design geometries, the quality of the titanium, production quality—they all play a role in a scan body’s accuracy. But for ScanBody22, the surface achieved with AccuScan is critical.”
The AccuScan treatment gives each ScanBody22 a surface color that eliminates light reflection. “This,” says Zarras, “is what leads to the extremely low scan scatter produced by the ScanBody22. Moreover, these surface-color characteristics are durable. The ScanBody22 keeps on producing accurate, clean scans—even after 100 or more uses and cleaning cycles.”
Of course, all scan bodies undergo some form of surface treatment. But as Zarras points out, the alternatives to AccuScan treatments have serious drawbacks. “Our research shows thatPVD treatment—the process typically used for scan bodies—results in surface colors that change over time, leading to worsening accuracy. Other scan bodies are sand blasted. But such bodies, quite apart from their inferior accuracy when compared to ScanBody22, cannot be used with lab scanners. ScanBody22, however, can be used with intra-oral and desktop lab scanners.”
Meeting a demand for X-ray visibility
The predecessor to the ScanBody22 is the Elos Accurate® Scan Body, a two-piece scan body with a PEEK body and titanium interface. A groundbreaking innovation when launched in 2010, the device remains a benchmark in PEEK scanning technology. But as Zarras observes, there has arisen a growing market demand for scan bodies with X-ray visibility. “Technology is constantly evolving, and now clinicians are able to place implants deeper than before. Hence the increasing demand for high X-ray visibility: something the titanium ScanBody22 delivers.”
Another advance incorporated in ScanBody22 is single-body construction. Whereas the previous PEEK scan body consisted of two distinct parts, the ScanBody22 is a single piece of titanium with an embedded screw. “A one-piece construction is inherently more stable,” says Zarras. “Multiple parts expand and deform differently over time, but a uniform construction behaves uniformly, something that contributes to long-lasting accuracy.”
Despite all the technical wizardry and innovation in the ScanBody22, Zarras is keen to stress its role in the big picture of personalized dental care. “We devoted thousands of hours to perfecting ScanBody22. But we never saw the technology as an end in itself—it’s always a means to something. In this case, it’s a means to amazingly accurate scans, which are the foundation stones for clinically and esthetically optimal restorations. At the end of the day, it’s all about safe, satisfied patients.”