62% of Australian adults are considering orthodontic treatment for easy cleaning and maintenance of teeth. Dentists have continued to rely on putty impressions to develop orthodontics. Although the method achieves some level of success, it is lengthy and time-consuming. However, recent technological advancements have led to the development of digital orthodontic scanners that have made the process much more comfortable. If you still use putty impressions in your private practice, then it is time to get an upgrade to digital orthodontic scanners. This article highlights the benefits you stand to gain.
Cleaner — Creating putty impressions requires that you first prepare the sticky paste into a clay impression onto which patients bite. The process often creates a mess, and your assistant must clean the area before the next patient. If you have too many orthodontic treatment appointments in a single day, then you are going to deal with a lot of mess. With digital orthodontics, however, you don't have to deal with the sticky paste and resulting clay for the putty impressions. It is a cleaner alternative because all your assistant has to do is hover the scanner inside a patient's mouth to capture images of the teeth.
Patients' Comfort — As a dentist, your objective should be to make your clients as comfortable as possible. However, some procedures cause a little bit of discomfort to patients despite your efforts to make them feel relaxed. Taking putty impressions is one such procedure. For example, the accumulation of saliva as the putty sets in a patient's mouth is a feeling that most people want to get over quickly. Furthermore, the gagging as the tray is taken out of a patient's mouth and uncomfortable chalky taste that is left behind by the clay add up to a less-than-pleasing experience. If you want to make your patients more comfortable, then you should ditch the clay and invest in a digital orthodontic scanner. Since the scanner utilizes a non-invasive procedure, your patients won't feel a thing as you scan their teeth. Your clients might even be fascinated by the method and recommend your clinic to friends and family.
Reliable — One drawback of putty impressions is that you have to set it right to get an accurate impression of the teeth. It can be difficult because it requires the patient to remain still for a couple of minutes. Any movements of the jaws will require repetition of the time-consuming procedure. Additionally, you have to be extremely keen because it is challenging to distinguish between gum impressions and teeth impressions. The drawbacks make putty impressions a little less reliable. With digital orthodontic scanners, irregularities on the teeth are discernible because the images are captured in colour. Moreover, since the scans are automatically saved in your computer, you don't have to worry about repeating the procedure.