With the rise of AI and modern technology, it is no wonder that various developments are happening in dentistry and orthodontics as well. Such is the latest study sponsored by Align Technology on a 5D imaging system as an effective tool for dental care. Who would have thought that this technology, which is mostly associated with pregnancy and ultrasounds, can be used in the dental care scene? Named as iTero Element 5D imaging system, it can be used in detecting and monitoring the cavities in between the teeth above the gingiva. It harnesses the power of near-infra-red technology (NIRI) eliminating the need for bitewing radiography, which means reduced exposure to radiation. This is just one of the many new technologies that are coming up for dental care. Definitely, the advances in digital smile design are exciting like at this Epping dentist too.

The study was released in 2021, entitled “Reflected near-infrared light versus bite-wing radiography for the detection of proximal caries: a prospective clinical study conducted in private practices,” took place across 5 different dental clinics in Germany and Canada, and covered about a total of 100 patients. In the study, intraoral scans were taken on these patients using the iTero Element 5D system and compared to the traditional bitewing radiography. The result shows the NIRI to be more sensitive in detecting early enamel lesions, and comparable in detecting dentinal lesions.

According to one study participant, Dr. Peggy Brown, she could further see the clinical value of the iTero Element 5D imaging system through its high sensitivity to detecting early enamel lesions and ease of use. “Having 1 system, 1 scan, and 1 tip eliminates the need for multiple devices, repetitive sterilization, and minimizes the use of harmful radiation.”

*** The study is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Dentistry (October 24, 2021)