Advancement in technology has impacted all fields of life and dentistry has not remained aloof of it either. Over the last two decades, there have been significant changes in the dental field, which have made the life of dentists and patients easier.
While traditional dentistry methods are still being used in today’s world, in the majority of the cases they have been replaced by modern, easier and less painful methods. Dental impressions are one of the most common treatments in the dental field. There are two types of impressions: digital impressions and traditional impressions.
What are digital impressions?
Digital impressions, evident by its name, is a cutting-edge technology that enables dentists to build a computer-generated, virtual replica of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. This is done by using optical scanning devices such as lasers. In just a few minutes, accurate impression data is collected. This information is then transferred to a PC to build restorations. These restorations are then placed in the patients’ mouths.
Difference between traditional & digital impression
Two types of impressions are used in the dental field: traditional and digital impressions. Traditional impressions are the one that has been used for a long time while digital impressions are comparatively new.
Traditional dental impressions are quite unpleasant for patients. While no needles are involved in this treatment, the patient’s teeth are clamped in place for several minutes on end. Once the impression material sets, the patient can relax and close his mouth.
Patients who have natural gag reflexes or some type of TMJ might not find this treatment appealing. Sometimes patients in addition to gagging can also throw up if the putty becomes unbearable to them. It should also be noted here that while the putty is not strongly favored, the waiting time might trigger a patient to vomit.
The goopy material obtains the impressions for veneers, bridges, and crowns for the patient.
Digital impressions are the go-to choice for both patients and dentists nowadays. In a digital impression, you can completely avoid the goopy impression material. When the patient feels comfortable and pleasant during the treatment, it has a positive impact on the dentist as well as the procedure.
With a digital impression, the smiles of patients are restored in a more efficient way.
Types of dental impressions
There are two types of dental impressions, which are currently being used by dentists. In one of the types, images are captured in the form of digital photographs. These digital photographs are then provided to dental laboratories and dentists.
The other type of dental impression captures the images in the form of a digital video. Dental laboratories and dentists have a complete video that helps them in restoring the smile of the patient.
The images are captured with the help of digital scanning or lasers. In laser scanning, concentrated light is used which is accurate and safe. Thorough details of the gums and teeth are captured. Similarly, digital optical scanners are accurate and safe too.
Pros of digital impressions
There is no doubt that digital impressions are more accurate, efficient and productive than traditional impressions. Here are some of the major benefits of digital impressions for patients and dentists:
- Chair time reduced significantly for patients.
- There is a vivid improvement in the quality of restorations because of the accurate image/video recording.
- Patients no longer have to worry about gagging or throwing up midway during the procedure.
- Dental impressions are more comfortable for both the dental team and the patient.
- In traditional impressions, there is a higher probability of error in the process. In a digital impressions, the detailed images and video have a smaller margin of error
- Patients feel more included in the treatment as they can see their impressions on the screen of the computer.
- The entire process of taking a scan of the teeth, its opposing teeth and bites are done in three to five minutes.
- It is an eco-friendly procedure as plastic trays and impressions materials are no longer required, in contrast to traditional impressions.
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