Meet the New Primescan

The long expected release of Dentsply Sirona’s next gen scanner is here. While Patterson and Schein are giddily taking pre-orders for these $69,000 machines immediately, it is not yet clear when these orders will be fulfilled. Early indications are that they are still many weeks away from mass distribution.

So what’s new?

The Primescan utilizes what they call a Smart Pixel Sensor- high-resolution sensors and shortwave light- that allow it to capture up to 1,000,000 3D data points per second at depths up to 20 mm. Dentsply Sirona claims this patented technology makes the Primescan the most accurate intraoral scanner on the market. Other new features include continuous self-heating for fog-free scanning, an increased field of view, 3 optional camera sleeves, instant data transfer, ergonomic touchscreen controls, fast and easy disinfection, and hours-long battery operation.

In addition to the Primescan, Dentsply Sirona has simultaneously released CEREC SW 5 to go along with it. This update brings with it a new GUI, intuitive touch functionality, and sharper screen resolution. It is not yet clear if CEREC 5 will be available or modified for use with Omnicam ACs.

What does the Primescan mean for the secondary CEREC market?

The Primescan effects were felt months ago. Many consumers believed, based on Sirona’s history of releasing a new scanner every seven years or so, that this announcement was imminent. Because of this, many buyers sat on the sidelines the second half of last year, resulting in a 21% market decline on package listings (scanner, mill, and oven). While significant, there still weren’t very many Omnicam scanners available by themselves, so the impact on the Omnicam scanner itself was nominal. Once the Primescan was officially released without a trade pathway however, we saw an immediate 28% decline specifically on Omnicam valuations. Without a current trade pathway, CEREC users upgrading to Primescan will be selling their Omnicams on the secondary market. The effects of which are already apparent as the number of standalone Omnicam listings has quadrupled, with an average asking price of $27,172.

If you are a current Omnicam user or seller, don’t worry, the worst of it has already passed. Once Dentsply Sirona is satisfied that they have taken full advantage of their user base who’s willing to pay any price to have it now (the shut up and take my money crowd), they will start offering discounts and trade pathways which will result in a more normalized rate of depreciation.

Admittedly, the Primescan release has hurt not only my clients, but some of our own investments as well. Looking through a rose colored glass, I can see the positive: this new scanner has been something of a “Chicken Little” scenario for years; now that the market has been set and the unknowns now known, we can navigate the new world of the secondary CEREC marketplace with confidence.

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