How Does My Dentist Take a Digital Impression?

How Does My Dentist Take a Digital Impression?Gregory skeens d.d.s.encinitas family dentistry

Have you ever had a mold made of your teeth? The gooey impression material filling your mouth, or even tickling the back of your throat? If you have a sensitive gag reflex, you probably remember the sensation quite well. Fortunately, digital dental impressions (near you) are changing the way our patients undergo routine restorative treatments and get fitted for clear braces. These digital impressions are performed virtually and in a matter of seconds. No messy impression material is required!

How Digital Impressions Work

Digital dental impressions near you use 3D CAD/CAM imaging, similar to what we see in modern 3D printing technology. By using a high-resolution intraoral scanner, we can take digital recordings of three-dimensional surfaces throughout your mouth. The wand is simply scanned over each tooth; it’s about the size of an electric toothbrush.

As each three-dimensional image is captured, the computer software interprets the data and converts it into a 3D virtual mockup of your smile. Looking at the computer screen, it appears as an exact digital replica of your mouth or teeth. It can be turned, flipped, and analyzed from every angle as if you had a physical version sitting in your hands. No waiting is required and there’s no mess to clean up.

The perks of digital impressions are:

  • More Efficient: Digital dental scans completely eliminate the need for pouring models, mailing them to a lab, and waiting for the technician to craft your custom restoration. Instead, we can use CEREC milling technology to convert the scan into something like a customized dental crown during the very same appointment. Your permanent restoration will be ready to bond into place, eliminating the need for a second appointment or having to wear a temporary “cap” for two weeks.
  • More Comfortable: Getting a traditional dental impression made isn’t most people’s favorite thing to do. If you have a tendency to feel a little claustrophobic, don’t like things in your mouth, or have a sensitive gag reflex, traditional impressions can stand in the way of a healthier smile. Digital dental impressions don’t require gooey alginate. There are no bulky trays to fit inside your mouth. The thin wand is simply scanned across your teeth in a systematic manner to capture images of every angle of your smile (or tooth.)
  • Extremely Accurate: You might wonder how accurate a digital scan of your teeth is, compared to a physical impression. The accuracy is extremely precise. In fact, it nearly eliminates any risk of human error during lab processes, ensuring a highly accurate restoration that fits and feels great from the moment it’s installed.

Digital Scanning for Clear Aligners

In addition to using 3D scanning for same-day CEREC custom crowns, our Encinitas dentist can also use virtual impressions for orthodontic treatment planning. If you’re considering clear braces options like Clear Correct, a digital impression allows us to upload a model of your teeth into the orthodontic software. From there, we can create a virtual care plan where your teeth are digitally moved toward the desired position. You can see a mock-up of your treatment—and the proposed outcome—before you start wearing aligners.

Digital impressions make clear braces extremely precise and comfortable, as we can carefully oversee your tooth movement from one set of aligners to the next.

Advanced, Accurate Dental Care

Dr. Skeens is consistently implementing the best resources and technology for our patients. Digital impressions are just one example. Through modern advancements, we’re able to provide efficient care that’s both comfortable and extremely accurate.

If you’re thinking about getting clear braces or know you need a crown, don’t let a sensitive gag reflex get in your way. Digital dental impressions near you can save you plenty of time and improve your overall dental care experience.

Contact our Encinitas family dentistry practice today to reserve your next exam.

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Dr. Gregory Skeens Encinitas Family Dentistry

Welcome to the Encinitas dental office of Gregory Skeens, JR., DDS. We are your home for caring dental treatment that supports superior oral health and helps you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Our modern facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and our team is here to make your visit enjoyable and relaxing.

We take a truly individualized approach to dentistry, which is why our practice is so popular. After every treatment, Encinitas dentist Dr. Skeens personally makes follow- up phone calls to patients to ensure that they are feeling well. Your comfort and well-being are of ultimate importance.

Gregory W. Skeens, DDS | 519 Encinitas Blvd Suite 104, Encinitas, CA 92024 | Phone: (760) 944-9288 | Text: (760) 933-3077 | Email:

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