dentist using intraoral scanner to take impression of patient

Digital Impressions- No More Goop!

What is a dental impression anyway?

dentist using intraoral scanner to take impression of patient

Dental impressions provide an imprint of a patient’s upper and lower arches and include dental anatomy of the teeth and soft tissue. Impressions have played an important role in dentistry for many years. Most often, they are used in restorative procedures and are sent to dental labs where the technicians are able to fabricate crowns, bridges, and dentures. Impressions can also be used after orthodontic treatments, providing patient with removable retainers and custom night guards. Most patients who complete in-office bleaching treatments will also be given a set of take-home bleaching trays made from their dental impressions; this allows them to maintain their preferred tooth shade from the comfort of their home. Lastly, taking impressions and creating stone models out of them allows for dentists to study patient cases without the patient having to be present.

At River Oaks Dental we use two methods of impression taking:

1. Traditional impressions

Traditional impressions are taken using alginate material and a plastic or metal tray, fit to the patient’s mouth. The material is time sensitive and requires exact measurements and proper mixing prior to setting within the patient’s mouth. This is a trusted method that has served dental professionals for years. We keep the trays and material properly stored in our office and always check expiration dates.

2. Digital impressions

Like traditional impressions, digital impressions are also done chairside but instead of using any material, a digital scanner connected to a computer records anatomy directly from the patient’s mouth. The scans can instantly be sent to the dental lab, cutting back on manufacturing time. Some software also allow for labs to provide “real-time feedback which can prevent the need for a patient’s return due to a faulty impression. A significant feature most often noted by patients is the reduced discomfort digital impressions provided; the small scanner tip limits gag reflexes.

There are some instances, as such with denture cases, where traditional impressions must be taken or are to be combined with digital impressions. There are also circumstances where we will take your digital impressions to show you ways which the treatment plan we create can positively change your smile. If you are ready to proceed with treatment, call River Oaks Dental to schedule your next visit at 904.348.0416 or visit our website (riveroaksdentaljax.com). At your next visit, feel free to ask Dr. Monteiro or anyone on staff about your impression options!

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