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How Do Dentists Take Digital Impressions?

Have you ever had a mold made of your teeth? The gooey impression material filling your mouth, or even worse, tickling the back of your throat? If you have a sensitive gag reflex, you probably remember the sensation quite well. Fortunately, digital dental impressions have changed how our patients undergo routine restorative treatments and get fitted for clear braces. These digital impressions are performed in a matter of seconds. No more messy impression material is required!

How Digital Impressions Work

Digital dental impressions use 3D CAD/CAM imaging, which is similar to what we see in 3D printing technology. Using a high-resolution intraoral scanner, we create digital recordings of three-dimensional tooth surfaces throughout your mouth. The scanning wand, which is about the size of an electric toothbrush, is effortlessly moved over each tooth.

The computer software interprets the digital information and converts it into a 3D virtual model of your smile as each image is captured, appearing as an exact digital replica of your mouth or teeth. It can then be turned, flipped, and analyzed from any angle as if you had an actual physical version sitting right in your hands. There’s no mess to clean up, and no waiting required.

Perks of digital impressions are:

More Efficient: Digital scans of your teeth eliminate the need to pour models, send them to a lab, and then wait for the technician to craft your custom restoration. Instead, we use computerized milling technology to convert the digital scan into a customized dental crown during the same appointment. A permanent restoration will be milled and ready to bond into place which eliminates the need for a second appointment. And there’s no more wearing a temporary “cap” for weeks!

More Comfortable: Having a traditional dental impression made isn’t most people’s favorite thing to do. If you tend to feel a little claustrophobic, don’t like things in your mouth, or have a sensitive gag reflex, traditional impressions can can make creating a healthier smile very difficult. Thankfully, digital dental impressions don’t require gooey alginate. There are no bulky trays to try and fit inside your mouth. The thin wand is systematically scanned across your teeth to capture images of every angle of your smile (or your tooth.)

Extremely Accurate: You may be curious as to how accurate a digital scan of your teeth is when compared to a physical impression. The accuracy is extremely precise. In fact, a digital scan practically eliminates the risk of human error during lab processes, ensuring a highly accurate restoration that fits and feels great.

Digital Scanning for Clear Aligners

In addition to using 3D scanning for same-day custom crowns, our Dumont dentist can also use digital impressions for orthodontic treatment planning. If you’re considering clear braces options like Invisalign, a digital impression will allow us to upload a virtual model of your teeth into the orthodontic software. Then, we can create a digitized treatment plan where you watch your teeth moving toward the desired position. You get to see a mockup of your treatment—and the proposed outcome—before you even start wearing aligners.

Digital impressions make wearing clear braces extremely precise and comfortable as you progress from one set of aligners to the next.

Advanced, Accurate Dental Care

Dr. Kryzman is consistently implementing the best technology and resources for our patients. Digital impressions are just one example. Through modern advancements like this, we’re able to provide efficient care that’s not only comfortable, but highly accurate, as well.

If you’re considering clear braces or know that you need a crown, don’t let concerns about messy impressions get in your way. Digital dental impressions can save time and improve your overall dental care experience. Contact Palisades Dental Care today to reserve your next exam.

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