Dr. Paul E. Dougherty and Dr. Scott O. Szotko use iTero® digital scanning to gain a more comprehensive view of your mouth and oral structures and to provide more effective treatments to meet your needs. This technology is also used to create digital impressions. We have chosen to use iTero digital scanning in the greater San Diego area as part of our commitment to provide you and your family with high-quality, comfortable care.

What is the iTero scanner?

The iTero digital scanner is a high-tech imaging device used to scan and view 3D images of the inside of your mouth. This state-of-the-art device captures images of your teeth and supporting oral structures, allowing our Dentists to diagnose problems and create customized treatment plans.

When we use the iTero scanner during your exam, our Dentists or hygiene team will insert a small wand into your mouth. As the wand passes over your teeth, the images will be processed immediately to produce a complete and highly accurate image of your mouth. The photos are saved every few seconds, so there is no need for you to sit through a second scan.

How does iTero benefit me?

The iTero scanner can capture up to 20 photos per second. These photos are captured in full color and show the difference between healthy and diseased tissue clearly so that our Dentists can make an accurate diagnosis. The captured images may also be used to create a digital impression, making it possible for us to design and fabricate highly customized appliances and restorations that fit and function better to improve your oral health and smile. iTero also simulates treatment outcome so that you can see what the end result of a particular treatment should look like.


Because the device used is small and easily maneuverable, photos can be captured quickly and comfortably. The wand can be removed immediately if you feel uncomfortable, and we can stop and start the scanning process as needed. The photos captured are saved immediately, so you do not need to worry about the images being lost or the process needing to be started again.

What are digital impressions?

Our dental office uses digital impressions to create custom oral appliances and plan your treatments. Digital impressions are a cleaner and less invasive method of taking impressions. They use digital scanners (such as the iTero® scanning system) to quickly capture highly detailed pictures of your teeth and supporting structures. These images are used to design a digital, 3D impression, which a dental lab can use in creating highly customized oral appliances and restorations for your use.

Benefits of digital impression technology

Some benefits of using digital impressions include:

  • Digital impressions can create a wide range of restoration and oral appliances, including crowns and Invisalign® orthodontic aligners.
  • No messy “goop” or molds are necessary.
  • The scanner can be removed from your mouth if you are uncomfortable, and we can stop and start the scanning process as needed.
  • A faster process for taking your impression.

Schedule your appointment

Dr. Paul E. Dougherty and Dr. Scott O. Szotko are committed to making your experience in our office as comfortable and effective as possible. Digital impressions save time in our office and minimize discomfort during the impression process as well as give you a high-quality treatment overall. For more information about iTero digital scanning and digital impressions in La Jolla, California, and to set up a consultation at Dougherty Dental, contact us today at 858-454-2656. We are dedicated to helping you enjoy a healthy smile!