January 1, 2018
If you’re one of the many people who have a hard time with impressions at the dentist, you’re not alone! Talk about a mouthful. In addition to being messy and uncomfortable, some people have a small mouth or gag reflex (or both) that makes taking traditional impressions even harder than usual. Although it’s not something that has to be done all that often, it can really be a pain when it is necessary. Sometimes people even avoid certain dental work simply because they find impressions so difficult! If you can relate to this but figured there was no other way, a dentist in northwest Dallas talks about how technology has created a better option.
Why Are Impressions Necessary?
Dental impressions are a type of mold that’s taken so that various restorations and appliances can be custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth.
There are countless pits and grooves in teeth that are unique to every person, almost like a fingerprint. When creating dental restorations, it’s crucial to get incredibly accurate measurements to make sure that the final result feels natural and comfortable.
It’s interesting to note that humans can detect a difference in their bite that’s less than the width of a strand of hair! When it comes to dental impressions, there’s no room for even the smallest error.
What Procedures Require Impressions?
Examples of procedures that require impressions include:
- Restorations such as crowns and bridges.
- Night guards and athletic guards.
- Whitening trays.
- Orthodontic retainers.
Up until recently, these molds had to be taken by having you bite down on a material that feels thick and goopy for around a minute until it dries or “sets up”. Obviously, this is less than appealing!
What Are the Advantages of Digital Impressions?
Although it’s easy to see why impressions are important, there are still clear drawbacks to the old way of taking them.
With digital impressions, this experience has been drastically changed for the better. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect from this technology:
- Increased Accuracy – The ability to scan your teeth means that the measurements will be a lot more precise.
- Comfort – You won’t have to worry about gagging or other discomfort. In fact, you’ll hardly feel a thing while your teeth are being scanned!
- Time-Saving – Before, molds had to be shipped to the dental lab so your appliance or restoration could be made. Now, digital impressions can be sent and received within minutes. That can make a big difference in how long it takes for you to be done with your dental work.
Changes in dentistry are happening all the time. It’s nice to know that with digital impressions you can get a better result with less discomfort – now that’s a win-win situation!
About the Author
Dr. Kwon is an award-winning general, restorative and cosmetic dentist who believes that the right dental technology can result in better quality and a more comfortable experience for his patients. He loves taking the time to educate patients on how dental procedures work so they can make informed decisions about what is best for them. He can be reached for questions via his website, or at (214) 350-8608.
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