Advancements in Dental Imaging Technology

Your dentist can identify many facets of your oral health during a visual exam. But if you seek certain dental treatments, your dentist will need to create a map of your smile that they can use to build custom-made appliances, including night guards that can treat sleep disorders.  

Traditional dental impressions involve pressing a tray filled with a putty-like material against the patient’s teeth and then filling the impression with plaster to create a mold that serves as a model of their smile. However, modern dental practices now use digital scanners to generate 3D dental impressions. This advanced imaging technology offers a variety of benefits for both the dentist and the patient.

Advancements in Dental Imaging Technology

Benefits of Digital Scanning vs Physical Molds

Dr. Frank Henrich employs digital scanners when diagnosing and treating patients for many types of oral health concerns. Read on to find more information about the advantages that digital imaging technology can provide for your dental care when compared to traditional options like physical molds.

Fine-Tuned Accuracy in Dental Restoration

One reason that dentists are more frequently turning to digital scanners when it comes to dental impressions is their improved accuracy compared to physical molds. A dentist will pass a wand-like device over the teeth to scan the image into the system.

This simple process means there are fewer opportunities for error during the impression process, unlike with molds. Human error or issues with the physical materials can negatively affect the results of the mold-based impression. This can lead to delays in the patient’s dental care. Digital scans rely on an easier system that also allows for hassle-free follow-up scans if needed.

For instance, if a dentist would like a clearer image of one section of a patient’s mouth, they can quickly rescan that area in the same appointment to obtain this information and update the digital impression. This can make for more precise diagnostics and enhanced results, such as a better fit, from treatments like oral appliances.

Improved Comfort and Convenience for Dental Patients

Dental patients often appreciate the digital scanner more than physical molds when it comes to dental impressions. Placing a tray in a patient’s mouth can be messy and uncomfortable. Some people worry about gagging during the process. The thin wand of a scanner, however, will easily pass over a patient’s teeth in a much less jarring fashion.

The digital scanning process will also take significantly less time than obtaining a physical mold. While the mold must set on the patient’s teeth for up to five minutes, it will take a fraction of that time to complete a digital scan. The quicker and more comfortable process with a digital scanner will allow a patient to have a more positive, stress-free experience.

Patients usually must return to their dentist’s office for more than one appointment for treatments involving traditional dental impressions. Digital imaging technology allows for a quicker turnaround time so that patients can spend less time at their dentist’s office. Learn more about how Dr. Henrich uses digital scanning at his practice by calling our office today.