Digital Dental Impression

What is a dental digital impression?

A digital dental impression is an exact mold of a person’s teeth. Traditionally, this was done by using one of the possible casting materials to create a negative impression of the teeth, which could then be used to create a positive replica. Modern technological advances allow dentists to be able to create virtual impressions of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth using optical scanning devices. These digital impressions are highly accurate and can be made in minutes, with minimal discomfort to the patient.

What is a digital dental impression?

There are two types of digital dental impressions: one is image-based, capturing a series of digital photographs, while the other makes a digital video. The procedure can consist of laser scanning, using focused beams of light to capture the teeth and gums accurately, without the need for any unpleasant material in the patient’s mouth, or digital optical scanners, which require a special spray on the teeth to accurately capture the details. Both options are safe and highly accurate.

A digital dental impression is an exact mold of a person’s teeth.

Typically, an intra-oral wand is placed in the patient’s mouth to perform the scan. Once the scan is completed, the digital impression is usually sent to a dental CAD/CAM system to create the restoration.

What is the difference between digital and traditional impressions?

The traditional method of taking dental impressions is a delicate process, which requires a lot of skill. It involves many more steps than its digital counterpart, and uses multiple materials. All of this makes errors more likely to occur. The dentist will check the negative impression for errors, but because it is inverted, staining errors are more difficult, and if errors are detected, the patient will have to undergo the procedure again.

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The digital method is much faster and more accurate. A positive impression is created when the scan is complete, and with the ability to magnify the image, it is much easier to detect errors. If there are errors, it is quick and easy to rescan and correct the problem before sending the final print. The result is obtained much faster and it is possible to analyze the scan results immediately, even during the same appointment. If necessary, additional scans can be easily performed.