What Is a Digital Impression?

What Is a Digital Impression?

Posted by DR. LEE on Dec 5 2021, 11:19 AM

A digital impression is a digital scan taken to create a mouth replica or teeth maps. A digital dental impression will allow you and your dentist to view and inspect your teeth on a computer screen.

Dr. Daniel Lee at East Burn Dentistry and Implants located in Portland, Oregon, offers solutions for a wide range of dental problems. In this blog, we provide a brief on digital scans and their benefits in dentistry.

Digital Scanning Workflow

The dentist takes the digital scan by moving a small electronic wand around and inside of your mouth. The moving wand takes real-time measurements and captures fine minute images that are immediately transformed into a precise map of your mouth.

Digital impression devices use lasers and optical scanning devices that enable dentists to create a virtual, software-generated model of the tissues (hard and soft) in the mouth. 

Some systems may require titanium dioxide powder to scan the arches as well as the bite while systems like Cadent iTero allow the dentist to take a powder-free, 3-D image of the mouth.

The digital scan offers dentists the flexibility to view the patient's teeth on a computer screen rather than using traditional methods such as a mirror, PoP molds, or X-rays.

After the impression is made, the dentist can immediately share it with the lab where dental appliances such as dentures, bridges, crowns, and other restorative devices can be manufactured quickly and accurately.

Types of Digital Impressions

Two types of digital impressions are used today in dentistry. The first type produces a series of images in the form of digital photographs while the other produces a digital video.

Benefits of Digital Scanning

Digital impressions are modern tools that are gaining widespread attention and offer the following benefits:

No Messy Impressions

The process of capturing the impressions is less messy and more comfortable compared to the traditional use of goopy mold material. 


Patients with sensitive teeth and gag reflex can be at ease and will feel more comfortable during the scanning process.


Digitalization removes technician bias and forms a precise scan to produce accurate impressions.


These scans typically cost the same as traditional scans.

Quick Process

The impressions are captured fast and this also means less time on the dental chair.

To learn more about digital impressions, call (503) 233-4871 or visit East Burn Dentistry and Implants at 1415 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214.

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