What Are Dental Impressions?

What Are Dental Impressions?

Posted by Dr. Lee on Mar 30 2022, 12:14 PM

A three-dimensional negative imprint of your teeth and mouth is called a dental impression. Dental impressions are quite common in dentistry and are used for mouth guards, retainers, accurate models, whitening trays, crowns, veneers, bridges, and dentures, among other things.

Dr. Daniel Lee at East Burn Dentistry and Implants in Portland, Oregon, makes it a priority to develop long-term relationships with his patients. In this article, we provide a basic understanding of dental impressions and their benefits.

Types of Dental Impressions

Preliminary, final, and bite registration impressions are the different forms of impressions used by dentists.

Preliminary Impressions
These are exact replicas of a patient's mouth and are utilized for diagnosis, documentation of dental arches, and educational purposes.

Final Impressions
The complete features of the tooth architecture and the surrounding tissues are captured in these impressions. They are utilized to create accurate castings and dies of the tooth structures and their surrounding tissues. Crowns, bridges, dentures, and other restorative devices are made by dental laboratory personnel using these impressions.

Bite Registrations
Bite registrations are used to capture the occlusal connection between the arches, which is important for articulating maxillary and mandibular castings.

Importance of Dental Impressions

Dental imprints are utilized in situations that require the placement of tooth structures or appliances in the mouth. 
Below are some of the scenarios in which dental impressions are used:
  • To make a partial or complete denture that can be removed
  • To examine the connection between your jaws (orthodontic treatment/ oral surgery examination)
  • To make custom-made whitening trays
  • To build or repair bridges or dentures
  • To fabricate dental appliances (space maintainers)
  • To develop a mouthguard that is unique to you (nighttime wear or sportswear)

Procedure for Creation of Dental Impressions

Traditional imprints are made on trays made from FDA-approved jelly. A thick liquid solution, like alginate or polyvinyl siloxane, is dispensed into an imprint tray that forms a U-shape to generate a dental impression. 

The imprint must be left in the patient's mouth for two to three minutes for the impression to be created. When this process is completed, it solidifies and forms a mold of the teeth.

Contact East Burn Dentistry and Implants at (503) 233-4871 or visit our office located at 1415 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214 for more information on dental impressions.

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