Digital Impressions

We take pride in offering digital dental impressions to our patients, as it significantly enhances the comfort, accuracy, and efficiency of their dental care. Whether we're working on repairing your smile or making cosmetic enhancements, digital impressions represent the latest technology that simplifies the process, benefiting both our patients and our dental team.

With our digital dental impression scanner, the days of biting down on a tray filled with putty are a thing of the past. In the past, dental impressions involved physically pressing your teeth into a mold-making substance by biting down on a tray containing a gooey material. You had to keep this material in your mouth for several minutes as it solidified. While the process itself is painless, it was often quite uncomfortable for many patients.

This traditional method was especially problematic for individuals with an overly sensitive gag reflex. Gagging during the process not only made it uncomfortable for the patient but also could lead to movement of the impression tray, potentially compromising the accuracy of the mold. Digital impressions have effectively resolved these issues.

What Is A Digital Impression?

Digital impressions are taken using an intraoral scanner that creates a detailed 3D image of your mouth. The scanner is small enough that it fits on the end of a wand. It looks like the tool we use to polish your teeth, only bigger. We take the scan by systematically moving the wand around your mouth as it emits a specialized scanning light. The images of your mouth can be viewed on a computer screen within seconds, to be viewed by both you & the dentist. We love that digital impressions give our patients an opportunity to see in detail what's going on in their own mouths.

Digital impressions are used in restorative dentistry to create tooth replacements, such as crowns, bridges & partial dentures. Digital impressions can also be used in dental implant procedures, both for planning implant placement & to create a surgical guide that ensures accurate placement of implants on the day of the operation. Digital impressions can also be used for planning & visualizing how to straighten teeth, especially with systems that already include a digital workflows, such as clear aligners like Invisalign®.

Digital Impressions vs. Traditional Impressions

The accuracy of digital impressions is on par with traditional impressions, and there's evidence to suggest that they may even be more precise. What sets digital impressions apart is the immediate feedback they offer. With the 3-D model of your mouth visible in real-time, any discrepancies can be addressed right away. If any section of the scan doesn't appear accurate, we can swiftly re-scan you, eliminating the need to schedule another appointment for the patient to return later, as is often the case with traditional impressions.

In the traditional impression process, once the impression material sets, the tray is removed and sent to a dental laboratory. There, a skilled lab technician creates a stone model of your mouth by pouring ceramic material into the mold. This model serves as the foundation for various restorative designs, such as crowns or bridges, or as a basis for orthodontic treatment planning.

This traditional process involves the physical creation of molds and the time-consuming involvement of a lab technician, who subsequently sends back the designed models. Depending on the lab's workload, this can extend over days or even weeks. Fortunately, digital impressions revolutionize the process, significantly reducing the time required at each stage.