Are digital impressions the wave of the future? Absolutely. In addition to be unbelievable cool, they allow for more accuracy, better communication with lab technicians and improved comfort for patients. Some patients are fearful of gagging during the traditional impression taking process. Digital impressions completely eliminate the need for impression material, which allows patients to have a better experience and need less time in the chair.
How does it work? An impression scanner, which looks like a wand, is placed in the mouth with the end of the “wand” over the teeth. The camera wand takes a series of tiny digital images using concentrated light. These images are assembled on a screen, in real time, as a 3 dimensional image. This image exactly replicates the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth. Some scanners are in full color, so patients can easily see their own teeth.
Dentists can easily see the patients teeth on the screen too. During a dental crown, porcelain veneer, or dental bridge procedure, the scan image allows the dentist to magnify up to 500X their size. This allows dentists to verify measurements and preparations while the patient are still sitting comfortably in the chair. This technology allows the dentist to evaluate their own work in real-time. This ultimately leads to better fitting restorations and more predictable results.
Digital impression scanners can now also be used to restore dental implants, provide surgical guides for dental implants, full arch scans for dentures and permanent dentures, mouth guards, retainers and even clear aligner teeth straightening systems.
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