We present an optical measuring system based on laser structured light suitable for its diary use in orthodontics clinics that fit four main requirements: (1) to avoid use of stone models, (2) to automatically discriminate geometric points belonging to teeth and gum, (3) to automatically calculate diagnostic parameters used by orthodontists, (4) to make use of low cost and easy to use technology for future commercial use. Proposed technique is based in the use of hydrocolloids mould used by orthodontists for stone model obtention. These mould of the inside of patient's mouth are composed of very fluent materials like alginate or hydrocolloids that reveal fine details of dental anatomy. Alginate mould are both very easy to obtain and very low costly. Once captured, alginate moulds are digitized by mean of a newly developed and patented 3D dental scanner. Developed scanner is based in the optical triangulation method based in the projection of a laser line on the alginate mould surface. Line deformation gives uncalibrated shape information. Relative linear movements of the mould with respect to the sensor head gives more sections thus obtaining a full 3D uncalibrated dentition model. Developed device makes use of redundant CCD in the sensor head and servocontrolled linear axis for mould movement. Last step is calibration to get a real and precise X, Y, Z image. All the process is done automatically. The scanner has been specially adapted for 3D dental anatomy capturing in order to fulfill specific requirements such as: scanning time, accuracy, security and correct acquisition of 'hidden points' in alginate mould. Measurement realized on phantoms with known geometry quite similar to dental anatomy present errors less than 0,1 mm. Scanning of global dental anatomy is 2 minutes, and generation of 3D graphics of dental cast takes approximately 30 seconds in a Pentium-based PC.