Unlike traditional putty impressions, digital impressions are much more comfortable for patients and don’t require messy pastes and trays. Instead, digital impressions are taken using a wand with a small camera attached. Once the teeth have been scanned, the digital impressions are sent to be analyzed on a computer. At Town Center Dental, we use this technology to create a 3D model of the patient’s mouth that can be used for various dental procedures, such as porcelain veneers or crowns.
For patients, the process is straightforward. The length of an appointment is usually shortened because the process takes a matter of minutes to complete. It also eliminates many issues that typically come with the impression process, including gagging or having saliva enter the impression, which must then be redone. Additionally, since the digital impressions can be sent right to the laboratory where the crown or veneer will be crafted, the process can be sped up significantly, allowing you to have your new restoration much faster than usual.
How Do Digital Impressions Work?
A digital impression is made up of a series of digital pictures or a digital video. The digital scanner takes precise measurements of the mouth and delivers a series of photos that are processed by the digital imprint machine's software to build a precise map of your mouth. Patients can usually view these images on a chairside monitor.
- Dentists use an intraoral wand, which is put into the patient's mouth and maneuvered about the afflicted area, to record a series of digital photos or films.
- Digital impression software quickly assembles the photos or videos and displays the impression image on a chairside screen.
- Dentists examine the digital images and confirm the scan's accuracy.
- The digital impressions are delivered to the dental laboratory, which creates the patient's restorations, such as crowns, dentures, and bridges.
The Benefits of Digital Impressions
The benefits of digital impressions are evident when compared to traditional impression techniques. Patients are exposed to less radiation, and the process is more comfortable, which means less gagging. With digital impressions, patients aren’t required to wear an uncomfortable tray for long periods, which can also improve the patient experience.
Additionally, the turnaround time for a digital impression is much quicker than for a traditional impression. Once our dentist takes the impression, we can begin processing the case immediately. This speedier process means that our patients can receive their restorations more quickly, which can end up saving them money in the long run.
Finally, thanks to the increased accuracy of digital scanning technology, the risk of having to redo the restoration is greatly reduced. This can lead to further cost savings for the patient and the practice.
For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit Town Center Dental at 301 E Cook St, Ste F, Santa Maria, CA 93454, or call (805) 925-2652.