Orthodontists generally take dental impressions for two reasons: 1) To record what your teeth look like before you get started with treatment 2) To make appliances that are custom made for the patients mouth.
Record Taking in Orthodontics
In addition to impressions we take photographs of the patients bite and teeth as well as x-rays. Together, these records help us to plan how we will move your teeth. These days, taking a scan of your teeth with a machine has actually replaced impression taking. This comes as a relief to many patients who find impressions difficult due to a strong gag reflex. In our office we generally do not take impressions for records.
Impressions for Appliances
In many dental offices including orthodontic offices, we generally take moulds or impressions of your teeth to make appliances. These include retainers, night guards, specialty appliances such as expanders. It is important to take impressions for these type of appliances because we must make sure that these types of appliances are made correctly for your teeth and mouth and that you are comfortable.
At Hometown Orthodontics we have a strong clinical team who will make impression taking quick and comfortable.
We understand that taking an impression can be stressful for many patients. But taking impressions is fairly fast, easy and does not cause pain.
We take an orthodontic impression by using a tray that fits over your teeth and filling it with a dental material called alginate. Alginate is a powder that, when mixed with water turns into a putty like consistency. This is then placed in the patients mouth until the material sets.
When the material hardens you are left with an imprint or “negative” of your gums and teeth. We then pour this up in stone or plaster to make a dental cast of your teeth.
Dr. Virdee and her staff will ensure this is a pleasant experience for everyone! And if you are apprehensive about this step in your orthodontic treatment, please let us know – we have many ways to make impression taking fun and easy!