Medit Q & A: Part One
Part One: What are the differences between the Medit i500 & the i700, and which one is for you?
Building on the highly successful and quite brilliant i500, Medit have redesigned their next-generation intraoral scanner, and in doing so, have developed the i700, arguably the best scanner on the market. The simplicity of the smooth scanning process matched with the accompanying software makes both the Medit i500 and Medit i700 a great choice for easy entry into digital dentistry.
There are currently no plans to cease production of the Medit i500, and it remains one of the best value scanners on the market. It shares the same rapidly upgrading software as the Medit i700, and it could be argued it’s significantly better value now that it was when it came out in late 2018 - and it was great value then! In addition to the ever-improving and evolving software, discounts on the Medit i500 have become more common.
So which unit should you buy for the practice? A perfectly capable Medit i500, which, let’s be clear, is outstanding value, or an upgraded Medit i700 for a few thousand more, but still at a very competitive price? What are the differences and how much do they matter?
Impressive Speed. The Medit i700 is fast. Very fast. There’s nothing faster. It’s up to twice the speed of the Medit Medit i500 which is no slouch itself. In experienced hands, the Medit i700 saves time, big time. If every minute is precious to you, this is the scanner for you. The high speed cameras enable up to 70 frames per second, versus a maximum 35 frames per second with the Medit i500. To achieve this though, you’ll need a PC that is almost twice as powerful as what we would refer to as the minimum specifications for a computer running the Medit i500. More on computers later in this series. Both are designed with the operator in mind to deliver a seamless scanning process.
Weight and Size. The Medit i700 weighs 245 grams; the i500 is 35 grams ‘heavier’. Both are very lightweight, the i700 termed as ‘featherweight’. Interestingly, the Medit i700 does have a slightly more ‘solid’ feel, quite an achievement considering it’s 12% lighter. The size has also been reduced by a considerable 25%.
External. Although both models look and feel similar, the Medit i700’s design incorporates several small, though important, hardware improvements. It has a reversible scanner head, meaning it can be rotated 180°. This feature is very handy indeed. The scanning window has increased in size without noticeably affecting the already small scanner head. It’s only by 7%, but the difference when scanning is strikingly apparent, adding to the already seamless scanning process.
A remote control button has been added to the Medit i700 which enables scan data to be checked and manipulated without having to touch your PC. The model also incorporates an UV-C Internal LED for sterilisation.
Internal. The mirror angle has increased from 40 degrees to 45. It may not sound like much, however, it makes all the difference when, for example, scanning the distal of rear molars. This is an area where low scanning times may otherwise be compromised, not only because of angle and reach, but because soft tissue becomes less identifiable. The increase in angle makes the unit a great deal more user friendly when identifying patient's teeth. The Medit i700 also boasts a deeper scan depth and 4x colour expression quality.
Connections. Although not wireless, the Medit i700 comes with a detachable cable. This is perhaps one of the most important changes. Unlike most scanners on the market, the Medit i700 can be directly connected to the PC via USB, removing the need for the power hub and extra cables. This greatly improves mobility and directly addresses the issues some Medit i500 units have had concerning power-cord connection failures. Medit have correctly decided on the solution and go half-way, as a wireless scanner is a Pandora’s Box full of potential problems.
Scanning Tips. The Autoclavable tips have been improved and are a lot less likely to experience any cracking issues. Officially, they’ll last at least twice as long as the Medit i500 tips at a competitive price compared to other scanners.
The differences between the two models might not make a lot of difference for many clinicians. It’s the truly outstanding Medit Link platform, software and lack of subscription costs that enable both to shine. Medit want to produce future-proof solutions, and there’s no doubt that this was in mind when redesigning the Medit scanner.
Although too early to prove, the hardware improvements should lengthen the lifespan of the Medit i700, and if taken care of, could well last for over a decade. Some clinicians will be dazzled with the features of the i700, and rightly so; it’s a great scanner with two high speed cameras enabling rapid video based scans giving unparalleled performance combined with a smooth scanning experience for both the user and for patient comfort. The entire workflow has been streamlined.
We’re seeing it all: practices upgrading to the Medit i700; purchasing a second or third Medit i500; starting with an i700 and then buying additional i500’s for the practice depending on who’s using the scanner, and exactly what for.
Purchasing intraoral scanning devices s a bit like buying a car. Do you need the wider wheels, the bigger speakers, the sunroof and the darker tint? Some do, some don’t. We hope this article can help you decide!