Digital vs. Traditional Dental Impressions

Digital vs. Traditional Dental Impressions
Posted on 04/21/2022

If you were fitted for braces or Invisalign a few years ago, you probably remember the strange and slightly unpleasant process of getting your dental impressions taken. This impression is very important because it records the exact shape of your teeth and bite, allowing your appliance to be crafted precisely to fit your anatomy and begin the process of shifting your teeth. At Discover Orthodontics, we use new and improved technology to create a “digital impression” of our patient’s teeth in Waterdown, ON. Here is a brief overview of the difference between traditional and digital dental impressions.

Traditional Dental Impressions

Traditional dental impressions are made by placing the teeth into trays containing alginate, which slowly sets in place over several minutes, creating a hardened impression of the patient’s teeth. This traditional method is not painful but can be uncomfortable for patients, especially those with strong gag reflex, TMJ, or who are sensitive to the taste of the material. Holding the trays in the mouth, and the sensation of the gooey alginate stiffening on the teeth is, in most patients’ opinion, very weird.

Digital Dental Impressions

Digital dental impressions do away with sticky alginate altogether. Instead of taking physical impressions, digital scanners or lasers are used to construct a 3-dimensional image of the patient’s teeth and gums. These digital impressions are more accurate than traditional impressions, and can also be emailed directly to the lab, rather than needing to be sent in the mail. Not only does the digital approach improve efficiency, but it is also more comfortable for the patient.

Contact Your Orthodontist Today

If you’re ready to transform your teeth through braces or Invisalign treatment, make an appointment at Discover Orthodontics today. Our team will help prepare and map your treatment plan from start to finish so you can visualize the results you will achieve. Discover the different types of braces and Invisalign we provide and read about digital dental impressions for more info. Contact us with any questions, we can’t wait to meet you!