Some dental procedures call for making an impression of the patient's teeth. Usually, impressions allow dental labs to create crowns, implants, bridges, and more that are exact (or nearly exact) replicas of the patient's teeth. The impression is sent to a lab and the results are often very satisfying for the patient. Dental impressions are a lot better than they used to be, though. To find out more, read on.
Old School Impressions
Previously, the only way to obtain a dental impression was to use a messy tray full of a goopy, waxy liquid. The patient would be asked to bite down on the tray and remain still for a period of time while the impression set. For those with a weak gag reflex, this way of making a dental impression could be uncomfortable. Digital impressions are a game-changer for those who usually avoid dental care because of the inconvenience and discomfort.
Digital Impressions to the Rescue
Now, most dentists use a tiny camera to make dental impressions. The camera is non-invasive, pain-free, quick, and easy on the patient. While you must still try to hold still so that the images are clear, there is no need to use that messy dental impression tray with the digital method. Here is how the digital impression works and how it can benefit you.
- The small camera is held by your dentist or their assistant.
- Thousands of images are recorded at a time on digital media.
- The images can be assembled to form a complete, detailed map of the inside of your mouth, including your tongue, gums, teeth, and more.
- The images are stored for later use. For example, your dentist can check to see how a gum disease is progressing or improving, whether a wisdom tooth is growing faster than expected, and much more.
- These images are updated regularly depending on the patient, their needs, and the dentist.
- In some cases, digital images can replace the need for dental X-rays. Also, those little dental mirrors? They may be no longer needed because your dentist can display a digital image on an iPad for you and enlarge it for more detail.
- Tiny digital cameras can capture your teeth from every angle, leading to better diagnostics by your dentist.
- These little cameras provide extremely precise information. Not only is your dentist able to view images of a patient's teeth but it's also possible to use them for measuring. That can help with the fit and appearance of dental prosthetics like crowns and implants.
Digital camera imaging is another way of making your dental visits easier.
To learn more, contact a representative like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.