NESO News Special Report: ScanStores

ScanStores are popping up all across the nation. What’s a ScanStore? Are they legal? Who is doing the intraoral scanning? And what does all this mean to the local orthodontist? Let’s start by taking a peek inside the ScanStore.

The following experience was written from a compilation of visits to ScanStores around the country. This report is only intended to give the reader a summary of observations from the perspective of a client and is not intended to make any comments or suggestions on the techniques employed or the practices utilized.

Once contact is made by phone call, email, text, tweet, Facebook or Instagram post, or by any other means of booking an appointment, the client is sent detailed instructions on the exact location of the ScanStore. ScanStores are either identified as ScanStores or they are located within hair salons around the country. Upon arrival, the client is asked a few questions concerning how they heard about the ScanStore and given a tablet to agree to the procedures and an informed consent form. A medical and/or dental history is not included. There are no displays of dental licenses for a dentist, orthodontist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, or orthodontic assistant. The client’s intake interview is being done by the ScanStore Manager or one of the ScanStore Guides.

After the short welcome interview, the client is escorted to one of the many private rooms with a sink for a free brightening kit where they are showed how to use the kit and proceed to have a whitening treatment with a portable blue light attached to the power supply of their mobile phone. After four minutes, the client is asked to remove the blue light mouth guard and place it on a paper towel on the counter next to the sink where it will be when the client returns from their intra-oral scanning session.

Scanning is done in another room where another ScanStore technician will begin the intra-oral scanning with an iTero Scanning Unit. The client is asked to open their mouth. No comment is made with respect to the condition of the teeth or surrounding periodontal structures. The wand is placed in the mouth with a demonstration on how easy it will be. The first area scanned is pointed out on the monitor and is noted by the technician as being “cool.” The scanning goes slowly and after many attempts in the same area of the mouth, the technician calls for another member of the ScanStore team. The scanning session is now running behind and another ScanStore Guide is heard asking how much longer will the session before it is completed.

After the scanning session is completed, the client is informed of the options for payment, one payment of $1850 or a payment plan with an initial payment of $250 followed by 24 monthly payments of $80 for a total of $2170. A preview of the final result will be sent to the client and then the client can make a decision as to whether to accept treatment.

The opinions and views expressed on or through this report are the observations of a compilation of individuals and do not reflect the opinions or views of NESO News, the NESO membership or the opinions or views of any other individual.


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L. Jeffrey Lowenstein DMD, Wellesley, Massachusetts (materials and observations used in articles provided with input from independent sources)