911 N. ELM, SUITE 230, HINSDALE, IL 60521


How Do Digital Impressions Work?
April 27, 2022

Dentist showing patient digital images of teeth

If you value having access to the best state-of-the-art technology to assist with your dental care, rest assured that Hinsdale Dentistry is here to provide world-class care. One of our cutting-edge options is the iTero digital impression system.

Rather than enduring the discomfort of sticky impression trays for several minutes, digital impression technology offers a quick, easy, more comfortable alternative that is even more accurate than traditional dental impression trays.

Our Technology

Hinsdale Dentistry uses the highly accurate iTero digital impression system. This system is truly state-of-the-art and not only provides results in less time and with less discomfort but is even more exact than traditional tray impressions. But how can a simple scan that is taken in a fraction of the time of traditional impressions mean a more precise impression of your teeth?

Traditional Impressions

In addition to taking up to 10 minutes and being quite uncomfortable, traditional tray impressions can be less precise. Inaccuracies can result from human error or imperfections with the materials used (such as air bubbles). Furthermore, the resulting impression is a negative of the actual teeth, and errors can be easily missed. If a problem does occur, an entirely new impression must be taken, increasing visit time and discomfort for the patient

In addition to being less accurate, traditional trays are simply uncomfortable. They take between 5-10 minutes to set, during which time the patient cannot take a break. Swallowing and breathing may be unpleasant during that time. The material used is sticky and messy. Unfortunately, getting an impression in this way can be particularly burdensome for patients with dental anxiety or a tendency to gag.

Digital impressions

The iTero system uses a small wand to take a series of digital images of your teeth. The images are captured in very quick succession. The entire process only takes around 2 minutes. There are no trays to obstruct your breathing or swallowing, and there should be no pain or discomfort.

By compiling these images, iTero’s powerful software creates a highly accurate 3-dimensional impression of your smile in seconds. This virtual impression is visible to you and your dentist instantly on the screen in the office. Because the imprint is digital, it can be sent electronically to the laboratory instead of through the mail, cutting down treatment time significantly.

The procedure is exceptionally quick and easy. You can pause if you need a break. Errors are easy to spot, and if there is an error, additional images can be quickly taken and compiled together with what was already scanned. While some digital systems require the teeth to be powder-coated beforehand to capture the images, our iTero digital impression system does not require any coating.

Which procedures use digital impressions?

Unlike some other systems, iTero can be used for a variety of dental treatments to get exceptionally accurate impressions and, therefore, superior results.

  • Invisalign – Itero scans the mouth to eliminate the need for traditional impressions during treatment planning.
  • Veneers – Itero can be used instead of messy impressions to plan your veneers and create models for the lab to use in veneer fabrication.
  • Crowns – Digital impressions carefully scan your prepped teeth so that your new crowns will fit perfectly.
  • Bridges – A digital impression will scan your mouth to help your dentist create an ideal restoration

Can I get digital impressions at my next appointment?

If impressions are necessary for your dental treatment, digital impressions are now available to you at Hinsdale Dentistry. We currently use the iTero digital impression system in our office. Our team is highly trained and experienced in using this cutting-edge technology.

If you are considering Invisalign, veneers, a bridge, or a crown, and are concerned the fitting process might be uncomfortable or painful, rest assured our digital impression technique is an excellent option. Call to schedule an appointment and learn more.

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