Dental 3D Scanner or Intraoral Scanner: Which is the Better?

Princeton,NJ/ 360prwire/ December 10/

Digitalization has revolutionized dentistry by applying digital capture technologies, with the ultimate aim of improving efficiency, accuracy, and level of care. Dentists and dental laboratories use various devices and appliances, including dental 3D scanners and intraoral scanners, to achieve better results with minimum discomfort. What are the main differences between these two useful tools? Read on to find out from the following paragraphs.

What are a dental 3D scanner and intraoral scanner?

A dental 3D scanner is a stationary machine that can scan dental impressions, models, restorations, orthodontics, implant cases, and articulator. It allows customizing and planning services for procedures such as implants, bone grafts, and even root canals. These machines work by relying on structured light technology, where light is projected on the surface of a dental model, and then the cameras will take photos to capture the deformation of the light lines so that the shape of the model can be determined. Because of the non-direct interaction with patients, it is often used in dental laboratories.

The intraoral scanner is a device that captures direct optical impressions in dentistry. It works in the same technology as a dental 3D scanner, but the difference is that it cannot rotate and manipulate the scanned object. Despite this shortcoming, the portable and convenient intraoral scanner is considered to be a “chair-side” solution for dentists to diagnose, contributing to its application in preventive and restorative dentistry.

Advantages of the intraoral scanner and dental 3D scanner

Now that you know what dental 3D scanners and intraoral scanners are and how they work, you probably wonder which device is better. Below, you can take a look at the advantages of these dentistry devices. 

Intraoral scanner 

The intraoral scanner is a convenient piece of dentistry equipment that raises efficiency and patient care. The main advantages of this teeth scanner are:

  • Faster

Since an intraoral scanner like Upcera’s P2 is a handheld device, it scans the oral cavity faster. This device performs full jaw scanning in up to two minutes. Fast performance is particularly useful when you’re dealing with patients who get uncomfortable easily. 

  • More comfortable for patients

Bearing in mind intraoral scanner is faster and handheld, it also provides more comfort to the patients who gripe about how uncomfortable it is when taking the impression. In this case, P2 has the advantage of using digital impressions to replace the physical impressions, eliminating the painfulness that the filling materials bring to patients’ oral cavities. 

  • More flexible

The intraoral scanner has a sleek, compact design, and it’s easy to use. All these advantages endow the intraoral scanner with more flexibility. So, if you’re looking for a device that will give you flexibility and freedom, an intraoral scanner such as P2 is a good choice. 

Dental 3D scanner 

The dental 3D scanner has a wide range of advantages as well. Below, you can see the most significant benefits of this device. 

  • More accurate

What makes dental 3D scanners stand out is their accuracy. A smart desktop scanner like Upcera’s U3+ allows you to scan without a blind angle, displaying more precise results. With higher accuracy, the dentist can give a more definitive diagnosis.

  • Lower implicit cost

If you’re looking for a solution to lower implicit costs, then a dental 3D scanner is a better fit. This device increases productivity by fast scanning and automatic operation. In other words, the best 3D scanner is a cost-effective investment for a dental laboratory. 

  • More objects can be scanned

The dental 3D scanner is able to conduct full arch scanning in a single step. The device makes it easy to scan impressions, uncut models, dies, articulators, implants with no blind angle. More precisely, the dental 3D scanner delivers a comprehensive solution for post and core scanning. With the smart desktop device, you can scan more and thereby improve speed, efficiency, and productivity. 

  • More applications

Considering that a dental 3D scanner is more accurate and supports more thorough scanning, it has more applications, including the production of prostheses/aligners/mouth guards, surgical planning, tracking patient progress, and digital archiving of patient data. The multiple applications of a dental 3D scanner show its high adaptability to various uses. 


The answer to the “which device is better” question is not as clear as you want it to be. Both dental 3D scanners and intraoral scanners have unique advantages. Therefore, you need to consider your needs and opt for a device that meets them. One thing is for sure that both types of devices can take your productivity to a new level. 

As a leading manufacturer that launches both advanced dental 3D scanners and intraoral scanners, Upcera devotes itself to providing professional dental solutions, solving dental problems, and bringing back the confident smile on faces from each corner around the world.


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Adam Ali