Why using blue light
Optical scanning technologies utilize specialty hardware and software to digest and digitize media to make it computer-ready. The hardware is responsible for visually scanning the material, while the software puts it into digital form.
The optical scanner features light-sensitive receptors, which are highly effective when compared to a photographic film scanner. In fact, light-based scanners pick up on 70 percent of incident light versus 2 percent through a film scanner. A light-based scanner is often used to replicate 3D models, and it's also commonplace in barcode scanners.
For medical practices, such as in dental scanning, the phase-shifting method is regularly used. This tactic slightly shifts the stripes to balance the instabilities that come with a lack of stripe width, which includes poor field depth and low camera and display resolution.
Laser vs. White Light vs. Blue Light Scanning
Laser scanners are not extremely accurate, and they fail to pick up a reading if the positioning is not perfect. For dental impression and model scans, scanning with laser provides inadequate results as the laser tech works poorly on partially transparent and shiny surfaces. Needless to say, laser scanning is finicky at best but it does serve a worthy purpose outside of the dental world.
Structured light scanning provides a higher level of accuracy, which makes it capable of producing fungible copies of 3D models. This type of scanner relies on coherence scanning interferometry (CSI) to pick up a proper measurement of an object's surface height. A 3D scan done with white light technology can achieve the same data collection as laser technology while taking four times fewer pictures. Plus, the resolution is roughly five times higher.
Structured blue light scanning is similar to white light but focuses on getting wholly accurate readings of model size and definition. This type of scanner serves high-resolution copies and does not require a completely controlled setting to perform well. In many senses, blue light is just a more efficient and useful alternative to white light scanners.
Why Blue Light Scanning Leads the Pack
In dental scanning, the usage of a laser is out of the question, for the reasons pointed earlier. Therefore, the options fall down to white light and blue light scanning products.
For slightly transparent and shiny object scanning, blue light technology is the clear winner. The projected fringes are more readable through blue light than with any other type of scanning technology. The main reason for this is that the material used to create impression, gingiva or scan-body is often transparent yet conforms alongside the wavelengths generated by blue light because it will neither be absorbed nor reflected.
Due to the usage of LEDs, blue light scans are less sensitive to heat than white light scans. The light source is more consistent and runs for a long period of time. More importantly, a scanning device using structured blue light can pick up a quality reading inside a bright room.
Blue light is the leading technology for structured light scanning devices. It serves the same purpose as what white light scanners set out to achieve. The key difference between the two is that blue light achieves better results. White light was once the standard, but many recent studies support the superiority of blue light and its greater advantages and lesser disadvantages.
In short, light scanning is superior to laser scanning for medical applications, but blue light tends to perform better. The two can achieve the same quality results when scanning in a controlled environment. However, when there's a need for more portability and high resolution in a well-lit room, the go-to solution is a blue light scanner.