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3 Ways Digital Impressions Can Improve Your Orthodontic Care

3 Ways Digital Impressions Can Improve Your Orthodontic Care

Every year, millions of Americans have orthodontic treatment. And before even one of them begins, impressions are necessary — three-dimensional models of your teeth that help guide your treatment.

Until recently, this meant having impressions made of putty. But today, patients at Freedom Orthodontics in Cedar Park, Texas, have a better option: digital impressions. In this post, Brendan Smith, DDS, MS, reveals three benefits of this state-of-the-art treatment option.

1. Better comfort for you

From a patient’s perspective, greater comfort is perhaps the biggest advantage offered by digital impressions. Until digital impressions came along, putty impressions were the only option for those receiving orthodontic treatment.

For each set of impressions — upper and lower teeth — you bit down on a hard metal or plastic tray filled with thick, sticky putty. Those trays stayed in your mouth for several minutes until the putty began to stiffen. Then, the putty impressions were removed from their trays, serving as a model that your orthodontist used to map out your treatment.

There’s no denying that biting down on a tray full of putty is unpleasant in itself. But the trays were the real problem, extending so far back, they were almost guaranteed to trigger a gagging reflex. If the impressions were imperfect, you had to go through the process all over again.

Digital impressions use an intraoral scanner or wand that Dr. Smith passes over your teeth. The scanner captures all the contours, positions, and sizes of your teeth, transmitting the data to a computer. There are no trays and no putty — and no gagging or discomfort, either.

2. Greater accuracy and precision

Your impressions play an important role in mapping out your treatment, and even a tiny flaw in those impressions can cause delays that prolong your care. For putty impressions, small bubbles, flaws, or inclusions in the putty, poor impression technique, and even small movements (or gagging) can alter the final result and your treatment as well.

Digital impressions are extremely accurate, using computer-aided 3D technology to precisely map your teeth, your mouth, and your overall bite pattern. Plus, once the digital data is captured on a computer, Dr. Smith can model your treatment, showing how your teeth will move over time and making tiny adjustments even before you receive your braces.

3. Easily shareable and storable

Finally, because your digital impressions are stored on a computer, they’re also easily shareable with the dental lab, your dentist, and other oral health specialists. This means you can begin your treatment more quickly and ensure the care you receive is always optimized for your unique oral health needs.

Digital impressions are good for the environment too, because they use fewer physical resources. With digital impressions, there are no metal trays, putties, or films to store or to clog landfills once your treatment is complete.

At Freedom Orthodontics, Dr. Smith and our team are committed to providing you with the best patient experience, the most advanced care, and the most beautiful smile. To learn how we can map out a custom treatment plan just for you, call Freedom Orthodontics or book an appointment online today.

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