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If you are about to embark upon orthodontic treatment, it can be worrying to think of the procedures that need to happen before your braces are fitted. Dental check-ups, cleaning, tooth removal, and even impressions can lead many people to feel overwhelmed. However, we have some important information that could just make this part of the process a little bit calmer for you. The use of digital impressions. Continue reading to find out more…


What are Impressions and Why do we Need to Have Them?

Dental impressions are an imprint of your teeth and gums and are needed by your dentist and orthodontist to look at the layout and shape of your teeth before you have braces fitted. They are used for diagnostic purposes and enable your orthodontist to plan your treatment. The impressions are sent to a dental lab where a technician will create a cast of your mouth and use it to advise the best type of brace treatment for the patient and determine the length of treatment and adjustment schedule.


The Traditional Method of Taking Impressions

Traditionally, most dental impressions used to be taken using putty, where a tray is filled with the material and placed into the mouth for the patient to bite down on for around 1 to 2 minutes. The putty will surround the teeth and gums of the upper and lower jaw and set and once removed, will reveal the shape of your teeth.

This process is not painful but can be uncomfortable and can cause people to stress with the fear of gagging or swallowing the putty. Although there are no serious risks in taking impressions of teeth this way, there is a more accurate and comfortable way to do it.


Impressions the Modern, Digital Way

Modern, digital dentistry now means that it is possible to take impressions of the teeth without the need for invasive mouth trays and putty. Instead, the iTero 3D Optical Scanner can now take digital impressions of your teeth by using a small wand-shaped device that is passed over the teeth to take 3D digital images. The scans do not involve any radiation, rather using thousands of photographs that are stitched together by the scanner software to produce the 3D image.


What to Expect with a Digital Impression

The process of taking digital impressions of your teeth is very simple and follows the below steps:

  • You will be handed a pair of dark, protective glasses.
  • An explanation of the scanner itself, the process, and the scanner wand will be made so you are comfortable with the procedure.
  • Your chair will be relined, and the scanner wand will begin taking thousands of photographs of your teeth and gums.
  • These images will be stitched together immediately and the image of your jaws and teeth will be shown on screen.
  • From this, your orthodontist will be able to determine your dental issues, what type of brace treatment will work, and plan your treatment.

From these images, your orthodontist can plan how your teeth alignment will improve over the course of your treatment by using virtual treatment simulation software which can illustrate the potential differences that are possible with each treatment option. If opting for Invisalign, then the course of trays is created directly from these images.


Benefits of Taking Impressions Digitally

There are numerous benefits of the digital scanner compared to taking traditional impressions of your teeth, including:

  • Improved precision – the scanner can take 6000 images per second.
  • Patient comfort – less mess, fear of gagging, or swallowing the putty.
  • Patient involvement – with the outcome simulator, the patient gets to see how their teeth will align and what their smile will look like at the end.
  • Improved accuracy – resulting in a better fit and fewer re-dos for the patient.


Discuss the Process with your Specialist Orthodontist in Chorley

We understand that any kind of dental work can be overwhelming but our friendly team at Chorley Orthodontics is here to talk you through every step of the process, with smiles, patience, and understanding. We are a specialist orthodontist in Chorley with highly trained and experienced practitioners here to talk through your dental treatment from impressions to fitting.

If you would like to book a free consultation with your friendly orthodontist in Chorley, then contact us today.


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