After using the 3M digital scanner for 5 years I have decided to put this expensive device in the closet. The technology for doing digital impressions for crowns and bridges is very exciting and the future is very bright but the future is not now. I received the first device in the southeast United States and have gotten very good results with it, however the results are not predictable causing this dental staff , our dental lab and our patients significant inconvenience.

The scanning device works as expected and when the lab at 3M performs professionally the resulting crowns and bridges are the best fitting most accurate I have ever seen.

The problem lies with 3M laboratories. The model production necessary to make the crowns must be as accurate as the digital scans. This only occurs about 10% of the time causing endless frustration for the lab technicians, crowns that must be sent back to the lab multiple times and then take excessive amount of ajustment time chairside to seat the restorations. The end result can be fantastic but the predictability of delivering a perfect crown is nonexistent. This frustration is not worth the inconvenience to the dental office, the lab and the patient.

Dealing with the employees at 3M labs is even more frustrating. The  lab personel from two separate labs and my dental office staff have found the 3M employees to have belligerent and ignorant attitudes every time we can actually get them on the phone. There is no recognition or understanding the ramifications of their poor performance on the outcome of dental treatment.

I was working on a video to showcase the incredible new fit and accuracy of crowns using the 3M digital scanner but I was never able to finish it due to the reasons mentioned above. You may find the video interesting to watch.

3M Digital Impressions from Hughes'Views on Vimeo.