Dr. Ira Goldberg, a dentist from Succasunna, NJ, is publishing an article about the technological advancement of dental impressions. With digital impressions, dental patients can receive accurate impressions of their teeth without the mess that comes with traditional methods. Dr. Goldberg treats patients at Morris County Dental Associates. To schedule an appointment or consultation, you can contact the office online. You can find Dr. Goldberg’s full article here.
Digital dental impressions – the “goop-free” solution!
Technology is all around us, and touches pretty much every aspect of our daily lives. Dentistry has not been left out of this revolution. One area that has benefited greatly includes our impression-taking techniques.
Digital Dental Impressions have revamped many areas of dental procedures: traditional crowns, dental implants, invisible braces such as Invisalign and SureSmile, dentures, night guards, and so much more.
So what’s the big deal about digital dental impressions? The biggest thing for you, the patient, is that it is goop-free! Nothing to risk making you gag, no messy materials getting all over your face. Another benefit is the accuracy: final restorations usually fit more accurately. Digital impressions are also faster to take, as compared to traditional impressions. The turn-around time from laboratories is faster, too, since these scans are sent via email immediately to the laboratory.
Traditional dental impressions encompass a range of different materials that we place into your mouth using a delivery tray. Digital impressions eliminate both the flowable material and the tray. Instead, a wand that is connected to a computer is utilized. We wave it over your teeth or gums a few times, and that’s it!
Many people think that these impressions utilize x-rays or a laser. This is not correct. The entire process uses visible light. There is no radiation, and nothing hurts.
It is important to note traditional impressions still play a vital role in dentistry, and will likely never go away. Not every situation lends itself to digital impressions.
The world of dental implants has also benefited greatly from digital impressions. Whether we are fabricating a single implant or a full mouth restoration supported on implants, we can utilize the digital impressions for surgical guides, temporary crowns, abutments, and the final teeth. The workflow saves patients time, and the outcome is very predictable. In our office, this is performed on a daily basis.
It is possible to overlay digital impressions on top of each other. This can be a useful tool during complex dental procedures when changes are desired. Maybe you want the esthetic crowns that are currently being made for you to be raised a little, or you want them narrower. By overlaying a scan of your current teeth or temporary crowns, the technician can easily put these changes into software and voila: the 3-D printers or milling machines can make the adjustments.
Wear and movement of your teeth can be tracked with digital impressions. If scans are taken on a regular basis of your mouth, you can see these changes and decide if you want to intervene. This can help to protect your teeth for years to come!
In our office we perform many cosmetic, implant, and denture procedures. We have been utilizing digital impressions for years, and could not even imagine going back to older methods. As stated above we still need (and use) traditional impression materials, but the newer digital world is what allows us to provide our patients with amazing smiles!