5 Things to Know About the iTero Element™ 5D Scanner With Invisalign® Treatment



Surprised patient watching at its treatment preview on iTero scanner

You’ve probably heard of Invisalign’s clear aligners and how they work, but what exactly is an “iTero™ scanner”?

The iTero scanner 3D images of your teeth  so it completely removes the need for the old-school putty dental impressions inside your mouth.

The benefits don’t end there either — so let’s take a quick look at what an iTero scanner is, how it works, and why it’s such an integral part of digital dentistry and modern day teeth straightening.

1. What is an iTero scanner?

Doctor showing his patient how an iTero scanner works

The iTero scanner itself is essentially a portable device with a hand-held scanning wand that takes a “3D” likeness of your teeth by taking thousands of individual images. This intraoral scan is then used to create a virtual model of your teeth, which is then used to plan your Invisalign treatment.

The iTero scanner is optimized with the Invisalign clear aligner system in mind — the most advanced clear aligner system in the world1. The whole idea of developing the iTero scanner was to bring the teeth moulding process into the 21st century, allowing for a modern, digital, and more pleasant method to make plan Invisalign clear aligners treatment.

2. How does the iTero scanner work?

Doctor visiting his patient with an iTero scanner

Getting your teeth scanned can be a quick and easy process. The dentist or orthodontist will hold the device in their hand and move it against your teeth, taking a series of detailed images as they go.

The whole process only takes a few minutes, and there is no need for any anaesthesia or other preparation. You may feel a slight pressure as the device moves around your mouth, but it is otherwise completely painless.

The iTero scanner then creates a “3D image” of your teeth, which is used to plan your Invisalign treatment. It can also give the dentist or orthodontist a better idea of your teeth and overall oral health with its near-infrared imaging (NIRI) technology, which means it scans the internal structure of your teeth, as well as allows doctors to understand your oral health in real time. Pretty cool!

3. What are the benefits of using the iTero scanner?


Invisalign Simulator Pro

There are plenty of benefits of using the iTero scanner, both for you and for your Invisalign-trained provider.

For starters, it is a lot more comfortable than the old-fashioned method of taking teeth impressions with putty.

The iTero scanner also provides images of your teeth much faster than putty impressions — in some cases, patient scans can be completed in as little as 60 seconds, so you’ll be in and out of the dentist’s chair in no time2.

And finally, the best bit of all! The real party trick of the iTero scanner is its ability to show you simulations of what your teeth might look like after treatment. This is called the Invisalign Outcome Simulator Pro3. It adds extra benefits with the treatment simulation. This means that you can preview your potential new smile in minutes with simulated in-face visualisation while discussing your treatment options with your doctor, so you can decide on the best outcome together.

It should be noted that Invisalign treatment can be done even when impressions are taken with ‘putty’. Your Invisalign aligners can be made still offering the predictability4 and comfort4 you expect from Invisalign treatment. Many doctors, however, are choosing to transition to a fully integrated and holistic digital dentistry workflow, and the iTero intraoral scanner is a big part of that. Talk to your dentist to discuss their particular methods and whether they are right for you.

4. Is the iTero scanner safe?

Young woman smiling after iTero scanner use

Yes, the iTero scanner is completely safe. and the whole process is completely painless. The scanner has been designed with your comfort in mind, and you can be sure that you are in good hands with your invisalign trained dental professional managing your Invisalign treatment.

5. How do I book an appointment for iTero scanning?

Book an appointment with an Invisalign provider

If you want to experience the benefits of the iTero scanner for yourself, then all you need to do is book an appointment with an Invisalign-trained doctor utilising the iTero scanner through our Find a Doctor page.

Once you make an appointment, your Invisalign-trained doctor will be able to advise you on whether Invisalign treatment is the right treatment for you, and if so, they will take you through the whole process.

The iTero scanner is a quick, easy and comfortable way to get 3D images of your teeth for Invisalign treatment. It’s just one of the many benefits of choosing Invisalign treatment, and we're sure you'll love seeing your potential new smile simulation in real-time!

(1) *Based on a survey of n=2,752 Invisalign doctors who were asked, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Invisalign is the world’s most advanced digital orthodontic treatment system.” Doctors were surveyed in the USA, Canada, UK, Brazil, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, and ANZ. Data on file at Align Technology, as of July 10, 2020.

(2) *With the iTero 1.5 software upgrade, patient scans can be completed in as little as 60 seconds with the same accuracy and reliability that you have come to expect from iTero scanners. This is based on 40 iRecord scanning sessions with average scan time of 58 seconds by 2 experienced persons scanning. Data on file at Align Technology, as of February 10, 2017.

(3)  *Invisalign Outcome Simulator Pro is only available on the iTero Element Plus Series.

(4) *Compared to Invisalign aligners previously made from single-layer (EX30) material.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this website are for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you may have regarding any dental or medical-related condition and never disregard or delay seeking such advice because of something you have read on this website.