Deciding to undergo orthodontic treatment used to be a mixed experience. There was optimism regarding the final outcome and a life with a beautiful new smile. Then there was the dread of facing all the uncomfortable parts of getting ready to have them put in place. From uncomfortable bite plates that bit into your gums to unpleasant tasting goop used for taking an impression of your teeth, the first stages were a bit of a bear. If you were one of the truly unfortunate, another element made the whole thing worse. Some patients reacted poorly to both the tray used to take the impression and the goop it held. These patients would find their gag reflex triggered, making the whole process more difficult. Thankfully modern dentistry takes advantage of digital impressions, which serve to make the experience more pleasant.
How Digital Impressions Improve Orthodontic Experience
The unfortunate truth used to be that there was no way to avoid these experiences. Impressions are a critical part of receiving orthodontic treatment. They provided a clear view of the internal structures of your orofacial area, as well as a clear model of your teeth and gums. These physical impressions were certainly sufficient to accomplish this goal, but they always had the drawback of being imprecise. Modern impression techniques take advantage of digital technology to generate impressions that are superior in every way.
An intraoral scanner is a vital tool in improving your experience. This device has a camera on the end of a tool that takes thousands of pictures of the interior area of your mouth. These pictures are then used to create a composite with special software to create a fully visualized 3D image of your oral cavity.
Your dentist also needs to see the physical structure of your orofacial area that is normally hidden to the naked eye. This is accomplished using a CRCT system that takes a full 3D image of this entire area. The resulting images can be viewed using imaging software and can be used to create a physical 3D representation using a 3D printer. The results are superior to those of older techniques, providing benefits such as:
- A more accurate visualization of your orofacial area
- The ability to view these structures in a 3D environment
- The creation of a physical 3D model
- No more need for bite plates, trays, or goopy impression mediums
- Improved diagnosis and ability to better create an effective treatment plan
These represent a selection of the benefits that are part of using digital impressions in your oral healthcare. In addition, these images are able to be transmitted digitally to other specialists without fear of losing the original. Further, you can obtain a copy for your own records.
Talk To Your Dental Provider About 3D Imaging
The odds are good that your dental provider is already taking advantage of 3D imaging software in their practice. Speak to them to learn how they use these tools to diagnose oral health concerns and develop an effective treatment plan.