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DIGITALISATION IN IMPRESSION TECHNIQUES: INTRA ORAL SCANNING

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DIGITALISATION IN IMPRESSION TECHNIQUES: INTRA ORAL SCANNING

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DIGITALISATION IN IMPRESSION TECHNIQUES: INTRA ORAL SCANNING

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INTRODUCTION 

In the age of rapid technological advancement, traditional methods in dentistry are undergoing a revolutionary transformation. Digital dentistry, propelled by innovations like intraoral scanning, is reshaping the landscape of dental care, offering patients and practitioners alike a new frontier of precision, efficiency, and comfort.

Digital dentistry represents a paradigm shift, leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance every aspect of dental practice. At the heart of this transformation is intraoral scanning, a game-changing technique that replaces conventional impression-taking with a streamlined, digitized process.

Intraoral scanning involves the use of handheld devices equipped with advanced optical sensors to capture highly detailed 3D images of the oral cavity in real-time. 

There are many different aspects to digitising the modern dental office and approach to treating patients with a comprehensive range of digital devices:

  • Dental computing software 
  • Extraoral photography
  • Face scanners
  • Intraoral scanners
  • Cone beam computed tomography with low-dose radiation
  • Design and processing software – such as computer-aided design/computer-assisted manufacturing, implant planning software, prosthetic design software and digital smile design
  • Chairside milling units
  • In-office 3D printing
  • Laboratory-based milling and printing solutions

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Why the need for intraoral scanners?

Currently for crown and bridge procedures numerous conventional and digital impression techniques exist with varying degrees of accuracy and technique sensitivity. 

The common problems with prosthodontic impressions were:

  • Indistinct margin reproduction
  • Incomplete margin representation
  • Voids in the impression of the tooth preparation
  • Voids or bubbles on the occlusal surface of adjacent teeth
  • Cords impregnated in the impression
  • Debris in the impression
  • Impression material separating from the tray

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Other factors that make digital impression techniques preferable to conventional techniques:

  • Reduction of waste and mess
  • Shipping costs to laboratories reduced
  • No need for impression disinfection and therefore no risk of disease transmission to laboratory
  • No need to pour models, trim and section dies with the relative inaccuracy associated with this – printed or milled models and their die fabrication are superior, allowing more predictability for restorations

Assuming digital impression and occlusion are recorded accurately no need to articulate casts in appropriate cases

Advantages for Patients

  1. Comfort and Convenience: Compare to messy impression materials and uncomfortable trays, Intraoral scanning offers patients a more comfortable and less invasive alternative, minimizing gag reflexes and discomfort.
  2. Reduced Chair Time: With intraoral scanning, the time spent in the dental chair is significantly reduced. Patients no longer need to endure lengthy impression-taking procedures, allowing for quicker treatment turnaround times.
  3. Enhanced Accuracy: Digital impressions captured through intraoral scanning are incredibly precise, ensuring better-fitting restorations and prosthetics. This accuracy leads to improved clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Benefits for Practitioners

  1. Improved Workflow Efficiency: Intraoral scanning streamlines the treatment process, eliminating the need for physical impressions and associated material costs. This results in a more efficient workflow, allowing practitioners to see more patients and increase practice productivity.
  2. Enhanced Treatment Planning: Digital impressions provide practitioners with detailed 3D models of the oral cavity, enabling comprehensive treatment planning and precise prosthetic design. This level of precision ensures optimal outcomes for patients.
  3. Seamless Integration with CAD/CAM Technology Intraoral scanning seamlessly integrates with computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems, allowing for the fabrication of custom restorations with unparalleled accuracy and efficiency.

Applications of Digital Dentistry with Intraoral Scanning

  1. Restorative Dentistry: From crowns and bridges to inlays and onlays, intraoral scanning facilitates the fabrication of high-quality restorations that blend seamlessly with the natural dentition.
  2. Orthodontics: In orthodontic treatment, digital impressions are used to create virtual models for the planning and fabrication of clear aligners, retainers, and other orthodontic appliances.
  3. Implant Dentistry: Intraoral scanning plays a crucial role in the planning and placement of dental implants, ensuring precise implant positioning and optimal prosthetic design.

Conclusion

As digital dentistry continues to evolve, the potential applications of intraoral scanning are limitless. Advancements in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and 3D printing promise to further enhance the capabilities of digital dentistry, paving the way for even more personalized and efficient patient care.

The adoption of intraoral scanning represents a watershed moment in the field of dentistry, ushering in a new era of precision, efficiency, and patient-centered care. By embracing digital technologies, practitioners can unlock new possibilities and elevate the standard of dental practice for generations to come.

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