Digital scanning is an exciting technology that has many advantages for patients and replaces the more traditional dental impression taking. At Newbury Orthodontic Centre, we are very proud of our 3D intra-oral digital scanners and patients have been very impressed by what it can offer to improve their orthodontic experience.
What is a digital scanning?
- As part of the orthodontic treatment planning process, it is essential to have full clinical records available (photographs of the teeth and face, X-rays and 3D model replicas of the teeth and bite) to ensure that the correct treatment is planned for the best results.
- Traditional dental impressions taken with alginate impression material allow plaster models to be created duplicating the patient’s teeth and bite.
- These models are essential for planning and unfortunately, impression taking isn’t always the best experience especially for those patients with a strong gag reflex.
Digital scanning replaces the impression taking and has vastly improved a number of areas of orthodontic service delivery including:
Greatly improved patient experience and comfort
Digital scanning is cleaner (no more messy, gooey impressions!) and allows patients to see 3D digital colour images of their teeth and bite in real-time. Some appliance systems (e.g. Invisalign) also allow the digital scans to be used for 3D treatment simulation and so patients are able to see the planned outcome of their treatment and how their new smile will look before treatment starts!
Quicker and more accurate
Because it is digital, there is no need for impression re-takes! Digital technology also allows much improved accuracy when fitting orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign, lingual braces and retainers.
Improved treatment and practice efficiency
We have abandoned traditional impression taking for all orthodontic appliance options which allows treatment to proceed more quickly and efficiently. We are also able to have direct internet links to our orthodontic laboratories allowing us to send digital scans quickly without having to post traditional impressions. This helps improve cross-infection procedures, saves time and is more environmentally friendly as it helps us reduce waste!