Whether they need to perform cosmetic procedures, plot a course for restorative treatments, or simply better understand the unique details of a patient’s mouth, dentists often find themselves creating dental impressions. This has typically involved using squishy, gel-like alginate impression material or some similar substance to create a mold of a mouth. While such materials usually make accurate-enough impressions, patients often describe the experience as “unpleasant,” “disgusting,” and “gag-inducing.” Fortunately, Westend Dental offers a more enjoyable experience with handheld, non-invasive iTero digital scanning.
What is iTero?
A revolutionary new scanning technology with roots in restorative dentistry, iTero scans eliminate hassle, irritation, and waiting time for both patients and dentists. These handheld wands use light to create iTero digital impressions that connect directly to an in-office computer. Unlike more traditional impression methods, iTero creates accurate impressions quickly, eliminating the need to redo imperfect flaws.
The iTero Scanning Process
So if iTero eliminates the need for trays and squishy impression material, how exactly does it work? The answer is quickly and with minimal discomfort.
- How Do iTero Scans Work? – The iTero system includes a wand with a digital camera that the dentist places within a patient’s mouth. This wand captures highly accurate images of the topography of your teeth and gums. (Some iTero models even include 3D scanning technology.) The images are then combined by the included software to create a highly accurate portrait of teeth.
- How Long Does an iTero Scan Take? – Unlike lengthy gel impressions that require you to allow the material to set and then require a trip to the lab, iTero scans are done in mere minutes. Your dentist may even be able to capture pictures of part of your jaw in as little as 45 seconds.
- Is an iTero Scan Safe? – Getting an iTero scan is just as safe as having your picture taken! The iTero doesn’t emit radiation or use chemicals to create an image.
- Factors That Can Impact the Cost – The cost of an iTero scan may vary depending on the options chosen. For instance, full 3D scans may cost more than more common 2D scans.
Advantages of iTero Scans
One of the lesser-known facts about traditional alginate molds is that they can shift in shape during processing at a lab, necessitating the need for additional impressions. Not so with iTero scans. That’s just one of the many benefits that iTero offers.
Conventional Scans vs Digital
Conventional molds produce a single impression of the inside of your mouth, an impression that can unfortunately get distorted during processing. These molds require a significant amount of time to successfully set, and few patients find the experience more than merely tolerable.
Compare that to the iTero system, which captures 20 snapshots every second, guaranteeing an accurate scan each and every time. These highly detailed scans help your dentist to detect any potential problems such as decay or cracks in the enamel of your teeth. Additionally, dentists can use these scans to model how your teeth will look after orthodontic and restorative procedures.
Why You Should Choose Westend
In addition to using the latest technology such as iTero scans, Chicago-based Westend Dental boasts staff with decades of experience in the dental field. Our caring doctors and hygienists make it their goal for every treatment and cleaning to minimize your discomfort while maximizing the health and beauty of your smile. Contact us today!