December 15, 2010

iTero Safety “Doggie” Harness: Don’t Let Your Camera Hit the Ground

So you just bought the coolest machine out there, and you love to use it to take digital dental impressions.  You roll it into the room and the patient is immediately WOW’d.  Your assistant hands you the camera and you thought she was still hanging onto it and she thought you had it… oops!  Your precious camera head hits the ground.  You both look at each with accusing eyes.  The assistant quickly picks it up off of the hard floor as if there was a 5 second rule in play. But too late, yep, it’s broken. Your body begins to get hot, you look around and think of what to do.  You try to keep your cool in front of the patient. Oh no, you have to take the dreaded impression the old fashion way… gag!

I thought of all of this the first time I used my iTero.  The trainer told me of some horror stories of dropping the camera on the very first day.  I thought, how could I set-up some way to prevent the camera from hitting the ground, but at the same time not restrict me moving the camera around the mouth. So I came up with this:  Materials needed are 1 small dog leash (the retractable kind), 1 or 2 large carabiners, stick-on hook, key chain, zip-tie, and a small strap.  You will have to have something to attach to above the patient ( I use my TV monitor mount).  Instructions: Cut the retractable leash short enough so it will not touch the ground, and re-splice the attachments back to the end (use vise grips or hemostats to hold onto the cut cable or you may loose it inside the doggie leash).  Attach the end to the camera.

Here the camera is in its cradle and the dog leash is locked and hanging securely so if it was bumped while being moved or stored the camera will not hit the floor.

The iTero machine has been rolled into the operatory, and is ready to be used.  The assistant hooks the leash to the ceiling mounted monitor arm’s cable.

There is very little tension on the camera head in this position.

If it is accidentally dropped it will not hit the hard floor.

This harness provides security from dropping throughout the entire scanning procedure without encumbering the process.

No resistance is felt moving the camera around the mouth.  Make sure when you cut and size the leash line that it is short enough to not hit the ground, and long enough to reach the patient’s mouth.  This will depend a lot on where you hang the leash.

We have used this “Doggie” harness with our iTero machine for over a year, and it has worked very well.

Close ups of hardware:

This is just a flexible key chain that I zip tied to the “doggie” leash.

Lock the leash so it will not fall off of the cradle accidentally.

I used some kind of strap to hook it onto my camera head.

Good Luck!