33 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Digital Impressioning System
By Robert Gitman
Robert Gitman, NDX Thayer, CDL, located in Mechanicsburg, Pa., shares some helpful questions to ask before jumping into the purchase of a digital impression system.
- Are scans powdered or powderless?
- Is powder required to mask full gold crowns, amalgams, etc.?
- What is the scanning time for a single crown: 1) tooth preparation; 2) opposing; 3) bite registration?
- What is the range of uses for the scanner and its limitations?
- Can the scans be exported as open STL files?
- Can the scanner take high resolution photographs and can they be exported?
- Can the scanner take shades of the abutment teeth and a stump shade?
- Can the user perform a “pre-prep” scan that allows him/her to scan both arches and the bite, save the file and then scan the tooth prep and merge the scans together?
- When re-scanning, at what point (on the arch) does the user begin the re-scan?
- Can the scanning tips be autoclaved or cold sterilized? If “yes,” how many times before a new scanning tip must be purchased?
- How do data points that are missing from the scan appear on the monitor?
- How does preparation clearance appear on the monitor?
- How many days of in-office training are included?
- Are on-line tutorials available for additional training?
- Is there recommended maintenance that office personnel must implement?
- Number of users per system included in license?
- Does the software allow you to trim the soft tissue and/or the scan to easily re-scan or reduce the size of the file?
- Can the user annotate on the scan to provide instructions?
- How will software improve communications with the laboratory?
- Does the software integrate with DDX?
- Are scan files stored on the scan computer or on the manufacturer’s server? If on the manufacturer’s server, is the system secure and HIPPA compliant?
- What are the benefits of a color monitor versus monochrome?
- How often does the scanner require calibration?
- What is the policy regarding upgrading (trading-in) hardware?
- What band width does an office require to upload the scans efficiently?
- What are the wireless router and firewall costs?
- What is the availability of technical support via telephone and what is the guaranteed response time?
- Does your company allow a trial period in-office to determine if it is the optimal system? If “yes,” what are the conditions of the trial period?
- What is the warranty?
- What is the loaner policy for inoperable scanners?
- Is there a monthly data plan associated with the scanner? If “yes,” what does it cover and what are the costs?
- Is there an annual license fee for software maintenance and upgrades? If “yes,” what is the cost?
- What are the lease and purchase options you offer?
Robert Gitman is the Company Administrator of Thayer Dental Laboratory, a full service, Certified Dental Laboratory, specializing in cosmetic and implant restorations. He has been active in the dental business for nearly 40 years.
a graduate of LaSalle University with a degree in Public Administration. Over the years he has continued to expand his scope of academic knowledge by completing graduate level courses in Total Quality Management from Penn State University; Employee Benefits Accounting from the Internal Revenue Service; Leadership Innovation from Drexel University; and Negotiation Practices from Harvard University Law School.
Within the dental field, Bob has consulted with dentists, manufacturers, distributors, publications and laboratories throughout North America and in Western Europe. His record of business consultation, marketing, business valuation services, and strategic planning in the dental field has been officially cited by the publishers of “Who’s Who” and accredited by the Society of Young American Professionals.
Bob has served the industry as Executive Director of the Dental Laboratory Conference, and through such affiliation, Bob held a seat on the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Practice. He has also served as Advisory Committee Member for the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, and an Ex-Officio Trustee Advisor to Oral Health 2000, America’s Fund for Dental Health.
As a published author, Bob has written articles and lectured internationally to groups on dental laboratory licensure, practical marketing, laboratory profitability, and strategies for buying and selling laboratories. Over the years, Bob has been involved with U.S. District Courts, where he served as an expert witness and co-authored an Amicus brief delineating industry labor practices. Additionally, he has “ghost written” motivational speeches as well as manuscripts on the subjects of management, accounting, advertising, marketing, direct sales, fund raising and health care issues. Most recently, Bob has been certified as a 3shape Manufacturer Trained TRIOS Specialist.