Dentistry’s game changers – Saoirse O’Toole on intraoral scanning

intraoral scanningTo celebrate 25 years of Dentistry magazine, we’ve asked leading dental professionals for their game-changing innovation that shaped their career. In this article we asked Saoirse O’Toole what her game-changing product is.

Dr Saoirse O’Toole is a clinical lecturer in prosthodontics at King’s College London’s Faculty of Dentistry.

Her research interests include identifying groups at high risk of tooth wear progression and developing practice-based methods to prevent and monitor tooth wear.

This includes translational, clinical and laboratory methodologies in addition to behavioural research.

Dr O’Toole is currently focusing on the development of software to accurately quantify intraoral changes at a micron level.

Intraoral scanning

For me, intraoral scanning is the product I use with the most ground-breaking potential.

Although the accuracy of the scanners is not quite where we want it to be yet, particularly when measuring cross arch, they are improving all the time and they have the potential to revolutionise dentistry.

In my research on erosive tooth wear we are currently using intraoral scans, alongside surface matching software, to determine the rate of tooth wear progression and show areas that have undergone large amounts of wear.

Any dental professional can now do this as we released a free software update developed alongside Leeds Dental University.

This can also superimpose any two point-cloud scans and measure the changes between them.

At King’s College London, we are rapidly developing methods to detect other forms of dental changes with intraoral scanners.

It will not be long before they will be a diagnostic tool in addition to an information capture tool.

There are also many other advantages, from a faster workflow to less environmental waste.

Although it’s not going to happen in the very near future, I’m looking forward to the day when we do not need to have stock impression material anymore.

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