Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Impressions

Today, dental impressions don’t have to involve a tray of wet, sticky putty in your mouth and sitting still while it sets. Today’s impressions are more accessible and much quicker, and dental patients appreciate the comfort and convenience.

What Are Digital Impressions?

Dentists take digital impressions with an intraoral scanner. The scanner is a small wand-like device that moves easily in the mouth. Scanning the mouth is a comfortable process and nothing like getting a standard impression.

The intraoral scanner maps the hard and soft tissues in the mouth using photos or video technology. A specialized computer program stitches the images together to form a 3-D virtual model of the desired area or the entire mouth. The dentist then uses this model to make crowns and other dental appliances.

The digital impression provides an unprecedented level of detail for the dentist to explore. The dentist can rotate the model any way they wish on the computer screen, viewing the teeth and planning the reconstruction.

What Are The Benefits of Digital Impressions?

Digital impressions have made dentistry more efficient and straightforward. Discover the benefits of these advanced impressions:

Faster Return of Dental Appliances

Sending impressions to the lab to create crowns, bridges, and dentures is quicker than mailing a physical model. The appliances arrive from the lab in less time than they did before.

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Increased Precision

The dental restorations made with 3-D intraoral scans are also more precise than those made with physical impressions. The result is that the dentist needs to make fewer adjustments for the restorations to fit. It is less likely that the dentist will need to remake the restoration.

Patient Comfort

Many people find traditional dental impressions challenging to sit through. The thick and gooey impression material sometimes made patients highly uncomfortable. The process feels like a regular dental exam with a digital intraoral scanner.

Are You a Good Candidate for Digital Impressions?

Most people are excellent candidates for digital impressions. Patients with sensitive gag reflexes should consider digital impressions. Patients who don’t want to sit in the dental chair for an extended period while impressions have time to set would also enjoy going digital.

What is it like to get digital impressions?

Getting digital impressions is an easy process. All you need to do is to sit comfortably in the chair and allow the dentist to move the intraoral wand around your mouth. You may need to open it wide depending on how far back the dentist needs to go in your mouth.

You don’t need to sit completely still, as you do with traditional impressions. You can even stop to ask the dentist a question during the procedure.

After the impression, you can look at the results with your dentist. They can explain how the restoration will work.

How long does it take to get digital impressions?

Digital impressions only take a matter of minutes to complete. Most patients prefer digital impressions partly because they are so fast.

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Are digital impressions safe?

Yes, digital impressions are entirely safe. They work using 3-D photo scanners and do not emit any radiation.

How are digital impressions used?

Dentists use digital impressions to create items like crowns, implants, and bridges. Orthodontists can also use them to fit braces.

Are digital impressions more accurate than traditional impressions?

Digital impressions are considerably more accurate than physical impressions. An advanced digital impression also results in a more precisely made dental restoration.


The trusted team at Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental provides a comfortable dental experience. From general to pediatric to restorative dentistry services and more, they help residents of Albuquerque keep their smile looking its very best.


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