The advent of 3-D technology now makes possible the taking of teeth impressions without the inconvenience and time-consuming process of extracting a tooth mold from the patient.
A new hand-held scanner allows the dentist to take dental impressions of the patient’s teeth by quickly scanning the inside of the mouth. The digital images captured are displayed on a screen while the patient is still in the chair, allowing the dentist to make any adjustments before the impressions are sent to the lab for fitting of a crown (visible part of the teeth) or a bridge. This eliminates the need for molding, allowing for a mess-free, precise fitting as swiftly as 10 minutes.
Inserting a soft goo into the patient’s mouth and letting it harden there before being extracted can be unpleasant for the patient. Inaccuracy of the impression often results in refitting or redoing of the implants, causing more time spent in the dentist’s chair and more discomfort for the patient.
The 3-D CT scan is now also used to complete a dental implant in a single surgery. It used to take 6 months before the crown is placed on top of the implant to allow the jaw bone, where it is fixed, to heal. One-day implant has become possible with the surfaces of the implants being modified to enhance their rate of fixation to the bone.
The unique perspective provided by imaging enables dentists to plan and carry out restorations all in one day. Using the 3-D model of the patient’s mouth, dentists are able to immediately locate the exact spot in the mouth to place the implant.
Some 50 million dental patients in the U.S. require crowns and bridges each year