Digital impressions are currently revolutionizing the way dentists create dental restorations for patients. A digital impression is a virtual scan that creates a map of your teeth. By using lasers and other optical scanning devices, dentists can create a virtual, computer generated model of the hard and soft tissues in the mouth. This digital model allows dentists to view patient’s teeth on a computer screen rather than using a mirror, taking a mold, or looking at an X-ray, which are the traditional methods. After an impression is taken, a dentist can immediately send the digital impression to a lab where dentures, crowns, bridges, and other restoration models can be made quickly and accurately.
Offering digital impressions can be a useful way to help build your practice, allowing you to attract new patients by offering an alternative to conventional impression taking technology. Additionally, a digital scanner will provide other business opportunities, particularly for a practice providing orthodontic services. There are many different digital scanners on the market, but iTero is one of the most respected and versatile brands. This guide outlines the suggested intra-oral scan image acceptance standards for iTero scanners.
As a dentist, one goal for your practice is to create quality and precise restorations that fit patients and thus improve their quality of life. The only way to achieve accurate and long-lasting results is to switch to digital impressions. Traditional impressions risk distortion. Digital scanners, however, capture precise results in a more efficient and time effective manner. They also increase patient’s level of comfort and satisfaction.
Case: Transformative screw-retained bridge
Dr. Georges Raffoul, Coast Dental, Largo, FL DDS Laboratory, Darren Stiff, MDT
Increasingly, patients are demanding dental restorations that provide excellent aesthetics and functionality. Most ceramic restorations can meet these needs, and there are many different types on the market. Achieving a successful restoration depends on the clinician’s ability to select the appropriate material and follow the right preparation and cementation protocols. Selection should be based on the ceramic’s physical properties, which include fracture resistance, strength, wear resistance, and long-term durability. One of the most popular materials is zirconia. Modern zirconia is very different from its original bone-white incarnation.
Shade matching is subjective and influenced by many different factors. An inaccurate shade is a common cause of remakes, as even the slightest difference between an actual shade and its perceived color makes a huge difference in the mouth and is unacceptable to the patient and clinician. Being aware of issues that can affect your perception of color, and knowing how to reduce their influence, allows you to take more accurate shades.
For many clinicians, the monthly bill from the dental lab is their second largest expense. Building an excellent working relationship with a dental lab is essential to running your dental office smoothly and efficiently. Poor communication results in numerous remakes, increased chairside, avoidable expenses and dissatisfied patients.
Screw-retained and cement-retained restorations each have specific qualities. Your choice of which restoration will best suit the patient depends on several factors.
There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of seating a case successfully without the need for time-consuming adjustments. Conversely, it can be very frustrating for the clinician and the patient when things don’t go smoothly. Perhaps a restoration fails to seat correctly or needs such significant adjustments that it must be returned to the lab for refinishing or entirely remaking. Poor impressions and incorrect shades are two of the most common failures resulting in remakes and adjustments, and there are many others.
The introduction of stronger and more durable ceramics over the past few years has greatly increased the clinician’s choice of materials when fabricating an all-ceramic three unit bridge. The latest generation of zirconia is suitable for three unit bridges and can restore teeth anywhere in the mouth, and IPS e.max is suitable for anterior teeth.