What Is a Digital Impression?

Computer screen with a scan of a mouth and a digital wand.

Dental impressions are used in dentistry for a variety of different purposes. They are crucial for creating custom oral appliances and dental restorations that look and feel natural in the mouth. For example, impressions are commonly used to create custom teeth whitening trays and custom mouthguards that fit much more comfortably than one-size-fits-all trays and oral appliances.

Impressions can also be taken of a single tooth or just a few teeth for treatments like dental crowns, bridges, or veneers. Once this information is collected, it’s used to design a restoration that will fit perfectly over each tooth to instantly protect them and enhance their appearance.

Traditional Impressions vs Digital Impressions

So what does a dental impression involve? It depends on the type of impression that you receive.

Traditional dental impressions

This type of impression involves filling a mold full of dental putty. Then, it is placed in the patient’s mouth, and the patient is instructed to bite down into the mold. The patient must remain as still as possible for around 45 seconds to one minute while the putty hardens around their teeth. Once the mold is removed, the dental professional then checks it to ensure that an accurate impression was created.

While some patients find this process to be quick and easy, others struggle with traditional dental impressions. For patients with sensitive gag reflexes, a traditional impression can trigger their gag reflex and make it very difficult to sit still for an entire minute. In other cases, patients simply don’t like the mess that’s involved with biting into goopy dental putty.

Digital impressions

On the other hand, digital impressions tend to be more comfortable for patients. With digital dental impressions, a handheld wand is gently run over the top, bottom, and sides of the teeth. While this is happening, the device is capturing thousands of high-quality images. This creates a very precise digital model of the patient’s teeth and the entire process only takes a few minutes. Plus, there is no messy, strange-tasting putty to worry about. Digital impressions are also available to use right away, which streamlines dental treatments for patients.

The Latest Dental Technology at Springs Village Dentistry

Our Holly Springs team uses advanced dental technology to enhance the comfort of our patients. We strive to provide the very best dental care possible. We offer a wide range of dental treatments for patients of all ages. Want to learn more about the services and technology we offer? Contact our office today!

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