Digital Impressions for Dentistry and Orthodontics
By: Dr. Donald Gundlach
If you’ve ever had braces, a crown, a bridge or an implant, you know how unpleasant the goopy impression material is. But did you know there’s an alternative to traditional impressions? With modern technology, your dentist can now take an impression of your mouth digitally—that means no gag-inducing material and no need to retake impressions! Digital impressions allow dentists to gather all the information they need about your mouth to create your crown, bridge, retainer, or other dental appliance or treatment. Watch this short introductory video, then read on to discover the benefits of digital impressions.
What are Digital Impressions?
A digital impression is a digital scan that creates a map of your teeth which allows you and your dentist to view your teeth on a computer screen. This is much better than trying to use a mirror to look into your mouth or just looking at an X-ray.
Digital impressions are captured by your dentist’s assistant, who slowly moves a small wand around the inside of your mouth. As the wand moves, it takes measurements and captures countless small images that are immediately stitched together by the digital impression machine’s software to form a precise map of your mouth.
Benefits of Digital Impressions
Digital impressions provide many benefits for you including the following:
- Comfort: the 3-D scanning is often much more comfortable for patients than traditional impressions. Those who have sensitive gag reflexes from having goop in the mouth or teeth that are sensitive to cold material will be able to relax since the impression is all-digital.
- Quality: digital impressions limit the margin for error and distortion when compared to traditional impressions. This means that your crown, bridge, or other appliance will fit better in your mouth since the information it was made from is all-digital and very detailed. And when combined with digital X-rays, it also means that dental implants can be placed in a more ideal position than when using regular X-rays alone.
- Cost-effective: there is no increase in cost for a digital impression; traditional impressions and 3-D scanning costs the same for the patient.
Digital Impressions at Dental Associates
Dental Associates is at the forefront of dental practices adopting digital impressions. Many of our clinics use digital scanning for general dentistry, orthodontics, and restorative procedures. We regularly use digital impressions in conjunction with our 3-D panoramic X-Rays to help guide our oral surgeons in placing dental implants. We encourage you to contact the clinic nearest you before your appointment to ensure that our teams offer digital impressions.
Digital impressions are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of technology and state-of-the-art equipment at our clinics. We also offer 3-D panoramic scans which allow the dentist to see your entire jaw and move the image on the screen to inspect from different angles. This is a more comprehensive way to look at your teeth and jaw to see the larger picture or your entire head and whole-head health.
We also use digital X-rays, which emit the smallest amount of radiation so you can feel more comfortable about having X-rays taken. When used in conjunction with a lead apron, a digital X-ray will expose you to less radiation than you’re exposed to when flying in an airplane. All of this technology coupled with digital impressions allows us to provide you with the most comprehensive and modern oral health care.
To learn more about digital impressions, call your nearest Dental Associates clinic or request an appointment with us today!