Orthodontics can dramatically change the way your smile looks and improve your bite mechanics too. With so much resting on a single treatment, it’s not surprising that a lot of planning goes into getting those beautiful results.
Digital impressions play a big role in that planning, helping your orthodontist map out your treatment from start to finish. At Freedom Orthodontics, Brendan Smith, DDS, MS, uses the most advanced digital technology to help patients in Cedar Park, Texas, achieve optimal results. Here’s how digital impressions work and what to expect when you have your impressions made.
The essential role of dental impressions
Dental impressions serve as models of your teeth. In addition to mapping out treatment, those impressions also help ensure your appliances — braces or Invisalign® aligners — are designed expressly for you.
Once your impressions are made, they serve as a sort of stand-in for your natural teeth, both in our office and at the lab where your appliances are made. During treatment, Dr. Smith refers to your impressions to ensure your treatment is on track and to make adjustments as needed.
For years, these impressions were made of a sticky putty material. The putty was placed in special trays, and those trays were inserted into your mouth and held against your teeth for a few minutes to allow the putty to begin to set.
While these impressions worked, the process could be a little uncomfortable, frequently causing unpleasant gagging reactions. Plus, the impressions they yielded weren’t always as detailed or accurate as an orthodontist might like.
The benefits of digital impressions
Today, there’s another option to those sticky putty impressions: digital impressions. These impressions use a special scanner to capture highly-detailed, three-dimensional images of your teeth and the structures surrounding them — without putty, trays, or gagging.
During your impression appointment, Dr. Smith passes the scanner over your teeth, gums, and palate. The scanner captures images in a digital format, transferring the data to a computer where special software creates 3D virtual models.
Because they’re digital, these impressions can be easily shared with the dental lab that creates your appliances, and the special software allows Dr. Smith to develop a virtual progression that shows how your treatment will move your teeth over time.
The high level of detail contained in digital images allows Dr. Smith to fine-tune your treatment for ideal results in potentially less time.
State-of-the-art treatment for beautiful results
Dr. Smith and his team are committed to providing the most advanced treatments for their patients, including digital impressions for greater comfort and greater accuracy during treatment. To learn more about digital impressions, call Freedom Orthodontics or book an appointment online today.