This article covers the preparatory steps for a successful intraoral scan for implants.
 Healing status of the implant site
- Approximately three months after the implant placement, the patient will need to return for the final impression, and the healing abutment will be removed. Check if it reveals a healthy soft-tissue collar around the implant site (Figure 1.1), which has been guided by the healing abutment since the implant placement. When scanning the implant site while it is still bleeding (Figure 1.2), scan data would not be accurate because the emergence profile is not correctly created.
- Before scanning a scanbody, make sure it is fixed correctly to the fixture (Figure 2.1). Let us clarify what a scanbody is. A scanbody is a marker that allows CAD software to identify the location and insertion direction – or angle – of an implant fixture in the mouth (Figure 2.2). It is usually called a scanbody scan or an in-scan marker. When scanning the scanbody, if it isn’t correctly fixed to the fixture, you will get a mismatched abutment.
- It is important that the unique shape of the scanbody is facing the lingual or buccal side (Figure 2.2 & 2.3) because it will make the scanbody matching process easier later on in exocad. Furthermore, if it is facing the proximal direction (Figure 2.4), it will be difficult to scan the scanbody because it requires adjusting the scanner tip angle specifically to read the data from the narrow space between the teeth and the scanbody.
- In the case of the scanbody being used as a healing abutment, the gingiva will be created according to the shape of the scanbody so that the scanning scanbody stage can be skipped by selecting the Crown case not Custom Abutment or Implant Crown in iScan.
- On the other hand, when a healing abutment and a scanbody are used for the case, the gingiva will be created according to the shape of the healing abutment. In this case, the emergence profile and the scanbody should be scanned separately by selecting Custom Abutment or Implant Crown in iScan.
 Gingiva control
- With silicone impressions, there is a gap between the tooth and the gingiva caused by the pressure of the impression material. However, digital impressions require gingival retraction because you will scan the oral condition as it is at the time. Therefore, thorough gingiva conditioning is required to capture accurate scan data.
- There is a way to expose the margin line using cord packing or a laser. In cases where the margin is subgingival, insert two cords for proper gingival retraction. Right before scanning, remove one cord.
 Fluid control
- It is essential to control saliva and blood before scanning. You should remove stagnant saliva on the teeth. Although you don’t want the mouth to be completely dry, it needs to be dry enough to eliminate any fluid on the teeth’s surface and prevent bubble creation. Make sure to control for blood. Remember that blood will also be scanned, which would lower scan accuracy and even if scanned, the data won’t be usable. The gingiva should also be healthy. Unhealthy gum tissue makes it tougher to obtain accurate scan data due to liquid leaking from the tissue.
→ When blood stays on a scanbody, the scan data will be created with flaws.
 Maintaining the proper angle of the scanner tip
- With regard to the tilting angle of the tip, it will be enough if you can see the buccal(lingual) side of the teeth, the buccal(lingual) gingiva and the corresponding occlusal surface in the ratio of 1:1:1. If you tilt it too much toward the buccal(lingual) side, the system will not recognize the position because it is not able to use the occlusal surface data as a reference.
- The gingiva scan data should be sufficiently acquired so that the system can perform the occlusion process successfully.
 Light control
- When the hard light comes into a scanning area, It will affect scanning performance because the hard light will ruin the transition from the highlights to the shadow on the scanning area. Ensure to prevent other intensive light coming from the dental chair or any other light sources so that the i500 can perform at its best.