Dental Impression Methods: Digital vs. Traditional

The mention of “dental impressions” evokes a claustrophobic image of discomfort: sitting in a dental chair, mouth filled with smelly goo, as the doctor struggles to capture an accurate impression of your teeth. It’s enough to make many patients skip their dental appointments.
Dental impressions are critical for crowns, bridges, veneers, and other procedures, however, we dental professionals are always on the lookout for ways to minimize patient discomfort. This trend began in 1985 with dental scanners, and has been ongoing ever since.


Digital vs. traditional impressions

Not only are traditional dental impressions uncomfortable, but their accuracy can be easily compromised due to movement or distortion, resulting in the need for additional appointments and discomfort.

Digital dental impressions have not only improved patient experience and the quality of the results, but allow for faster and better communication with dental technicians and patients.

Traditional dental impressions are cheaper, since digital impression-taking requires the purchase of an intraoral scanner and possible additional costs. Yet this added expense comes with unparalleled scan accuracy, capturing even the finest details of the oral cavity.

Moreover, a digital system, while entailing higher upfront costs, can pay for itself over time through savings on traditional impression-taking materials, repeat impressions, and so on.

Experienced dentists for whom the old methods work fine may be slow to adopt new technologies such as intraoral scanning – but can benefit immensely from the precision, comfort, and time-saving offered by the digital method.

In the long run, digital dental impressions also benefit the environment – with less paper and plastic waste, no need to store physical impressions, and none of the waste produced through human error and failed impressions.

In conclusion, both impression-taking methods have their pros and cons. In evaluating your options, it is best to look not only at short-term cost, but also at long-term benefits to your patients’ comfort and satisfaction, and ultimately your practice.


Click here to learn more about AB Dental’s intraoral scanner – and enter a world of comfortable, error-free dental impressions-taking.

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