Innovative technology has done away with old-style impression techniques, to produce a more accurate and comfortable imprints of the teeth. These imprints are used to create models of the teeth in the laboratory.
Advantages of No Impression Techniques include:
- Scanned digital imprints show more accurate detail of the teeth. This is necessary to produce accurately fitting restorations such as crowns and bridges. The better the fit the less likelihood of leaking filling and infection setting into the teeth.
- Scanning is more comfortable as it doesn’t involve any impression material to be placed in the mouth.
- The procedure for scanning is very simple and non-invasive.
- The process is really quick and so can produce almost instant results for easy assessment of the teeth.
- A 3-D computer image facilitates better diagnosis and treatment.
Traditional Impression Techniques
Impressions of the teeth are used to create models of a person’s mouth or individual teeth. Traditionally, the impression material is made of a type of silicone or alginate. A special tray is loaded with the material and place over the teeth in the mouth.
The material takes an imprint of the teeth and becomes hard or firm. This mould is then filled in a laboratory with a plaster type material that creates a hard imprint of your teeth called study models.
These study models can be used to diagnose, assess or create new teeth. Impressions are necessary for various types of dentistry to allow the dentist to study and manufacture restorations (crowns, bridges and dentures).
No Impression Technique
This is a process whereby your teeth are scanned to produce a digital 3-D image. This image can be used to create a physical model of your teeth.
Scanning is an easy, simple and non-invasive process. This means there is no discomfort for the patient.
The dentist uses a wand-like scanning instrument which simply takes small pictures of your mouth as the scanner wand is passed over your teeth. There is no direct contact with any part of your mouth.
This information from the scanner is then fed back to the computer which puts the information together and produces a 3-D image of your teeth.
The scanned image is multi-purpose and has many uses. This image can be used to create a study model, plan or to re-establish the shape and size of a new restoration.
Since it is a digital image the dentist can use it to learn what will work best in your mouth.
The resulting 3-D image allows the dentist to create new teeth on top of it in the form of an image. The two images are then superimposed on top of each other forming a guide as to how much tooth preparation is going to be necessary.
Other images such as facial images can also be super-imposed to design new smiles.