Say Hello to Digital Dental Impressions: 3 Ways They’re Better than Putty

More comfort with digital dental impressions

If you’ve had cosmetic or restorative dental work done in the past, then you’re likely familiar with putty impressions. Many types of orthodontic work, oral appliances, and dental restorations require an impression of your teeth. However, digital dental impressions now provide a greatly improved alternative.

Physical vs. Digital Dental Impressions

Traditional dental impressions have been integral to dental treatment, but patients don’t look forward to them. Physical impressions involve your dentist filling trays with soft putty that they then place over your teeth.

You have to sit with the trays on your teeth for several minutes for the impression to take. After that, the physical impressions may have to be shipped to a dental lab to prepare the crown or other treatment. This can add weeks to your treatment time.

In the past, people simply had to make do with physical impressions. They were an integral part of many different dental treatments, and the inconvenience was well worth the results. However, new technology now means that patients don’t have to compromise.

Digital impressions improve this process in many ways. They make use of the latest intraoral scanners and other imaging technology to generate a high-resolution 3D image of your mouth. The device is placed in your mouth, and the scan is complete just seconds later.

This modern scanning technology is used in many applications for both diagnosis and treatment planning, improving results and the patient’s experience. When used for digital impressions, it provides several key benefits over physical impressions using putty.

1. Faster Results

The first benefit is that digital impressions deliver much faster results. Just the process of taking physical impressions takes several minutes. After that, there are further steps to process and handle the impressions. A digital scan takes just seconds, which means less time in the dentist’s chair overall.

Digital impressions also reduce delays in your treatment. Treatments like dental crowns and veneers require specialty dental labs to create those custom prosthodontics. Physical impressions have to be shipped to the lab, which can significantly increase the amount of time you’re stuck with a temporary crown.

The digital impression is also stored electronically permanently, so it can be referred back to at any time. There’s no risk of the impression being lost or damaged in handling, which would require another set of physical impressions to be made.

2. Greater Accuracy

The reason that impressions are needed in the first place is to plan and carry out treatments that require a perfect fit for your teeth. Dental crowns and veneers need to fit properly to prevent damage and avoid becoming loose over time. They also need to come out in the right shape to match your natural smile.

Digital impressions provide greater accuracy than physical impressions. While putty impressions capture a lot of detail, they aren’t infallible. The material might not be pressed against the teeth completely, allowing minor features to be overlooked. The high-resolution digital imaging used for a dental scan captures all of your mouth’s detail.

That greater accuracy means a better fit once your crown or veneers are ready. It also plays an important role in planning modern orthodontics, such as Invisalign treatment, and oral appliances, like night guards. 

Digital imaging technology helps ensure you get the best outcome possible for your needs by mapping your mouth with high accuracy.

3. A More Comfortable Experience

With any dental treatment, ensuring a comfortable patient experience is one of the first considerations. While ensuring proper oral health has always been reason enough to put up with putty impressions, digital impressions now provide a more comfortable experience that delivers even better results.

Digital impressions don’t require any direct contact with your teeth. Your dentist will place the end of the device in your mouth and move it around to capture 3D imaging of your teeth. A connected device shows progress in real time, letting your dentist ensure complete coverage. This process is quick and comfortable.

This is a far cry from physical impressions. In traditional impressions, putty-filled trays are pressed against your teeth, which can create uncomfortable pressure and a strange sensation. The process can also be messy as excess putty spills from the trays. Many patients say that the putty has an unpleasant taste if any touches their tongue.

Treatment with the Latest Dental Technology

You can find effective treatments for any of your dental needs at King Dental. Choose the best dentist in Virginia Beach for the latest dental technology and techniques. You can enjoy fast and comfortable digital impressions that deliver a better experience and improved results. Schedule a consultation to find out about your treatment options.

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