The rapid development and popularization of digital technology in the field of stomatology is changing the way we practice dentistry. Digital impression technology has quickly become the most desired impression technology for dentists and patients alike. The reasons are easy enough to see: digital impression technology offers efficient clinical operation, comfortable patient experience, convenient doctor-patient communication, easy data storage, and more.
Digital impressions can be divided into two categories: direct, and indirect.
Indirect impressions are scans made of plaster models, typically using a desktop scanner such as SHINING3D’S DS-EX & DS-MIX. This technique is now relatively mature and increasingly popular, what with the wide application of CAD/CAM in the clinical setting.
The direct impression method involves taking scans directly from the implant site. This way the dentist and patient can completely avoid traditional impressions; instead, the digital data and location information is generated by a scan of the actual implant location. Planning and modelling can then be done with this direct impression data.
Below we’ll look at a restoration achieved using multiple implants scanned in real time by an intraoral scanner of Aoralscan 3 from SHINING 3D.
- Scan the upper arch with Aoralscan 3, an intraoral scanner from SHINING3D. As mentioned previously, with this method there is no longer a requirement to prepare traditional impressions: the impression is created digitally in real-time. This greatly streamlines the process, removing tasks such as selecting trays, mixing impression materials, impression disinfection, model casting, model transportation, etc.
2. Thanks to the feature of “true color”, color information can be displayed and used to differentiate different parts of the scan. For example, the implant will look different to the teeth or gums. This can allow the dentist to simulate the restoration treatment process so that the patient can intuitively understand the treatment plan and what to expect from the final restoration result. These scans can also be sent via Internet to streamline dentist-technician communications.
3. Scan the lower arch and measure the patient’s bite. Both upper and lower arches will be aligned together automatically. The whole process is smooth for both you and your patient. These digital impression can be stored on CD, hard disk and other easily available storage.
Digital impressions not only streamline the process for both patient and dentist, but also cut down on waste. Storage space is not needed to keep track of physical models, and impression materials are not discarded into the environment through waste disposal.
4. The design of the restoration can be made with EXOCAD. These STL files can then be milled to manufacture the restorations.
5. Finally, test the restorations in the patient’s mouth and finish cementing in place. In this example, the patient was pleased with the speed and comfort of the whole treatment.