Dental Digital impressions are a type of cutting-edge technology that allows your dentists to build a virtual, computer-generated replica of the soft and hard tissues in your mouth. This is done with the help of optical scanning devices such as lasers. This information is then used to build restorations, which are then placed in the patient’s mouth. This new tech is now the go-to choice for both dentists and patients nowadays.
There are two types of digital impression technology available for dentists to use. One captures the images as digital photographs, providing dentists and dental laboratories with a series of images. The other captures the images as a dental video.
These images can be captured using lasers or digital scanning. Laser scanning employs the use of concentrated light that is safe as well as highly precise. It is capable of capturing all the details of the teeth and gums, minimizing the patient’s discomfort as they don’t need to hold any unpleasant or distasteful material in their mouth. Digital optical scanners are safe and accurate but it requires the teeth to be powder coated with a special spray before scanning to ensure that the impressions are recorded correctly.
HOW ARE DIGITAL IMPRESSIONS MADE?
A digital impression is created by a series of digital photographs or a digital video. These methods capture precise measurements of the mouth and create several small images that are stitched together by the digital impression machine’s software and forms a precise map of your mouth.
Step by Step Process:
- The patient’s teeth are prepared for the scan by clearing the area of blood and saliva. If the scanner is not powder free, the teeth is dusted with specially formulated titanium dioxide powder.
- A series of digital images or videos is captured by the dentist using an intraoral wand. It is then inserted into the patient’s mouth and moved around the affected areas.
- The digital impression machine pieces the information together and displays the image within seconds on a chairside screen.
- The digital impressions are then sent to the laboratory where the patient’s required restorations such as crowns, dentures and bridges are created.
ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL IMPRESSIONS IN COMPARISON TO TRADITIONAL IMPRESSIONS
Digital impressions eliminate the most of the labor and guesswork surrounding traditional impressions and greatly reduce the risk of errors. They save time both during impression appointment and restoration delivery. They reduce the need of return visits to the dentist’s office considering the restorations are made at the dentist’s rather than being shipped off to a laboratory. Even if they are not made at the office, the restoration can be fabricated faster due to elimination of working time associated with traditional materials such as stone, shipping times etc.
Digital impressions prevent the need for impression materials to be placed inside the patient’s mouth. This ensures the comfort of patients with strong gag reflexes or claustrophobia throughout the procedure.
A digital scan enables the dentist to see the image and to magnify and evaluate it thoroughly. Errors can be corrected immediately before submission to the laboratory. When the final scan is complete and the bite registration obtained, a virtual model of the preparation will be shown on the screen. The system will also indicate in color, presence of areas of inadequate tooth reduction. This allows the dentist to carry out the suitable modifications. In case of any missing areas, the system allows the operator to patch the error without retaking the impression.
With the help of digital impression technology, additional scans can be layered on top of the original virtual model for an enhanced visual representation. A repeat scan can also improve the previous virtual model without introducing any new errors. This only adds any previous missing data to the model. The more scans added, the more accurate the model becomes. This is exactly the opposite of a traditional model.
BENEFITS OF DENTAL DIGITAL IMPRESSIONS
The use of dental digital impressions is becoming increasingly popular. It increases productivity and efficiency and also at the same time provides a high level of accuracy. This technology is used to make restorations, eliminating the chance of multiple visits to the dentist’s office by the patient.
Additional benefits of taking dental impressions include:
- Improvement in impression quality, thus resulting in precision-fitting restorations.
- As it takes only three to five minutes to complete, less chair time is required.
- Digital impressions are far more beneficial for patients that struggle with conventional impressions, such as people with strong gag reflexes, anxiety or fears while receiving dental treatment.
- Reducing the use of conventional materials can reduce impression-taking errors, resulting in fewer remakes.
- Since a digital impression can be stored electronically, it reduces the amount of paperwork, efficient record keeping and physical storage space.
- Digital impressions are more eco friendly because this process eliminates the need for disposable impression trays and impression materials that would otherwise remain as non-recyclable waste.
- The digital file is instantly sent to the dental lab hence turnaround times faster, this eliminates the need to set up a traditional working model.
- Digital scans can be magnified and evaluated by the dentist while the patient is still in the chair so if there are any errors, it can be corrected before the file is sent to the lab.
- During surgery, the impressions can be seen on-screen, allowing the dentist to check tooth preparations more accurately and to modify preps if required.
- The process of creating impressions is delicate. The traditional mode of creating impressions require more steps and materials and are more prone to errors due to material defects improper settings or the human errors.
We hope this blog was useful for you. We are a dental lab institute based in Cochin that offers one of the best dental lab technician courses in Kerala. If you are interested in being a lab technician and the details of the courses it entails, we are more than happy to help you and carve a path for you for your future.