Impressions of the existing teeth are required any time a dental crown is to be created.  It is an important step to ensure an accurate fit.  Conventionally, a dental impression is created by placing a tray filled with molding material over the teeth and letting it set for several minutes.  While important, this process can be uncomfortable and inconvenient for the patient.

Luckily, with advancement in dental technology, dentists are now able to take digital impressions rather than using the messy traditional method.  The digital impression system is a highly accurate and precise method for producing dental caps and crowns.  It is also proven to be safe and effective and allows for faster production of caps and crowns.

Procedure

To take a digital impression, the dentist scans the teeth and takes several pictures from all different angles to form an exact virtual image of the tooth.  Once the scans are complete, the image is sent directly to the dental laboratory, and the dental crown is created, sometimes on the very same day.

Advantages

Digital impressions are popular with patients because they are comfortable and quick.  Patients do not need to sit for a long time with an uncomfortable tray in their mouths.  Additionally, those with sensitive teeth and gums are able to avoid irritation of their mouths, which can also lead to measurement inaccuracy.

Digital impressions are also very reliable and provide an exact measurement of the tooth for the dental crown.  While taking an impression manually can result in inaccuracies and require refitting, digital impressions leave very little room for error.  Patients can expect high-quality crowns more quickly

Disadvantages

There are some limitations and disadvantages to using digital impressions.  Most notably, the cost for these impressions is higher than for the traditional method.  There is also a variety of scanners in existence, so it is important to find a dentist with a high-quality scanner to reap the most benefit from this system.  Additionally, as the scanner requires substantial access to the patient’s mouth to image the full tooth, those with small mouths may have difficulty with this procedure.  Finally, some are concerned about the safety of the laser scanning device.  However, professionals confirm that the laser used in the digital impression system is safe and harmless.