Throughout the country, many dental offices are limiting the number of dental impressions that they have to take, thanks to digital scanning technology. These “digital impressions” use CAD/CAM systems to capture 3D images and transfer them into a computer system, providing the software with a virtual model of your mouth.
But how does digital impression technology change the way you see the dentist? Here are just a few reasons why this option offers a superior alternative to conventional impression trays:
No Gooey Messes or Gag Reflexes
One of the biggest challenges of having your dental impression taken is that for many people it triggers their gag reflex. Add to the fact that the material feels soft, mushy, or even flows toward the back of the mouth and it can be – well – a recipe for disaster.
Digital impressions only require a small handheld wand that’s scanned over your teeth. It’s essentially no different than having a dental exam conducted. Just say “ah,” and the digital tool does the rest.
Instantly Send Digital Models to the Dental Lab
If you’re having a custom restoration made by a ceramist or other dental lab expert, the model of your mouth has to be sent to a 3rd party, which requires someone to come pick it up or even shipping it out of town.
Labs that are equipped with digital scanning capabilities can receive your virtual tooth impression instantly, shaving off hours or even days when it comes to how long you have to wait for a custom restoration to be designed.
On Site Crown or Restoration Milling
Dentists with in-house milling equipment such as CEREC can use digital impressions to make same-day dental crowns, inlays, and onlays while you wait or catch up on other treatments during the same appointment. This technology essentially takes traditional 2-visit procedures and makes them into a one appointment process.
Digital impressions are extremely accurate, allowing for creating of well-fitting restoration designs when aesthetics and comfort matter most. Thanks to technology like 3D CAD/CAM equipment, modern dental practices are able to greatly reduce the chances of human error while providing the highest quality of care for their patients.
No Need to Re-impress
Have you ever had a dental impression taken and then re-taken because the first one didn’t come out? That’s because a conventional impression takes a lot of practice to get just right. Even the texture of the impression material must have a certain consistency and then have a particular type of modeling material poured into it to create a replica of your mouth. If one step of the process bubbles, warps, or breaks, an entirely new impression is needed.
Digital impressions are permanently saved as part of your records. As such, they don’t risk breaking or warping, so there’s no need to re-take them.