Monday, September 12, 2022

iTero Used to Scan Coral Along Great Barrier Reef

  I came across a pretty fascinating article recently.  It seems a marine researcher was at a dental visit recently and the team used the iTero Elements 5D Flex to scan her teeth.  Dr. Kate Quigley was highly impressed with the digital 3D scanner and it generated a great idea... she thought that the iTero system might be a great way to also scan coral.  

Dr. Quigley is a Senior Research Scientist at the Minderoo Foundation and she spends a lot of time measuring coral.  She figured that since coral are mainly composed of calcium and teeth are also heavily composed of calcium,  a scanner that works well on teeth should also work pretty well with coral.

Of course, those of us in dentistry that use intraoral scanners understand that it is not just hard tissues that can be scanned, but also soft tissue such as the gums surrounding the teeth as well as the palate, but that isn't the point here.  The point is that the iTero system could certainly scan coral... it's just a matter of the software that drives the system.

Dr. Quigley was already heavily engaged in evaluating coral, but it is difficult to measure them without hurting the small living organisms.  During her Ph D work it would take 1/2 a day to do a scan.  Using the iTero cuts the scanning time 99%.

The full article is pretty interesting.  A lot of innovation comes to a field from another discipline and this is a great example of this.  Head over the for the full article with all the details.  

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