If you’ve visited Spillers Orthodontics recently, you know that we’re all about digital technology. Our office utilizes 3D digital X-ray, 3D imaging, 3D printing and intraoral scanning. Intraoral scanning is especially appealing to our patients. It eliminates the need for tray and putty impressions that so many patients dislike and creates a more comfortable, relaxing experience.
What are Impressions?
Impressions are essential for orthodontic treatment. They give us an accurate record of your teeth BEFORE treatment begins so Dr. Spillers and Dr. Gordon can create the best treatment plan for you. They’re also taken AFTER treatment to accurately fit the retainer.
Before the advent of intraoral scanning, we took alginate impressions of our patients’ mouths. Some orthodontists still use this method. If you’ve ever had this done, you know it’s not fun. It produces a gag reflex in some people. Alginate impression material begins as a powder. It’s mixed with water to create a thick, pasty material. An impression tray is filled with the material and placed over the teeth, one arch at a time, for about 30 to 60 seconds until it sets. The impression forms an imprint of the teeth and gums. Plaster-type material is then poured into the impression to make a cast of the patient’s mouth. If this sounds like a long and arduous process, it is.
How are Digital Impressions Different?
The process for getting digital impressions is much easier and comfortable for our patients. A highly-trained member of Team Spillers will scan your mouth with a radiation-free laser. And, in as little as two to three minutes, the laser renders a digitally perfect 3D impression of the teeth and soft tissue structures that you can see immediately onscreen. There is no gooey mess, no unpleasant taste or smell.
Not only is the process more pleasant, the actual outcome is better. Digital impressions are more accurate than stone models, which can swell, distort and break.
The iTero scanners used at Spillers Orthodontics in Warner Robins and Macon, Ga. are the digital scanner of choice by Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign clear aligners. Only iTero scanners are compatible with the Invisalign Outcome Simulator, a chairside application that allows patients to visualize how their smile may look when they finish Invisalign treatment.
Digital Impressions at Spillers Orthodontics
At Spillers Orthodontics, we scan every new patient with one of our iTero scanners. This way, we have the most accurate 3D rendering available of your teeth. When you are ready to start treatment, we already have the information. This eliminates the need for an additional appointment, saving you valuable time. It also ensures that we are spot-on with our measurements and calculations for moving your teeth.
Now that’s something to smile about!