It is possible to take digital dental impressions by using an intra-oral scanner, a tool recording an optic impression of the teeth and all supporting structures (eg gingiva) and scanning every morphologic detail. All images can be viewed real-time on a display, which undoubtedly represents and advantage for the dentist who can immediately check the quality of the impression and promptly correct possible inaccuracies.
If compared to traditional impression taking, this digital system is certainly more comfortable for the patient for both procedure and duration: no cumbersome instruments or chemical hardening materials are needed. The taking of a digital impression consists in fact in a simple scan of all tooth surfaces by using a pen-shaped scanner inserted in the mouth: the limited nuisance caused by moving this instrument in the mouth makes it a well appreciated system by all patients, who also value its sophisticated digital technology.
As well as in prosthetic rehabilitation, digital impressions can also be used to design and fabricate orthodontic devices, and in surgical treatments for the creation of masks for computer-assisted implant surgeries.
Though bringing several benefits to the dentist in such a delicate clinical phase, the taking of a digital impression requires nonetheless same utmost professionalism and competence from the dentist as in all the steps of a dental rehabilitation.