Are digital impressions REALLY the better choice?

Are digital impressions REALLY the better choice?

Are digital impressions REALLY the better choice?

Looking at how intraoral scanners are changing the way dentistry is done—and the possibilities of care.

For years, dental experts have been telling dentists that intraoral scanners were going to be the wave of the future. That future is now here—the scanners are cheaper than ever, more available than ever and easier to use than ever. But are they worth the investment? Are digital impressions really that much better of a choice than traditional impressions? And will they help you practice better dentistry?

Digital impressions offer amazing possibilities for dentists, from better patient experience to better restoration outcomes. Intraoral scanning enhances the workflow for the practice. For some dentists, taking digital impressions has even enhanced their clinical skills.

However, some would argue the benefits of digital impressions are not worth the pain of change. The advantages simply don’t outweigh the drawbacks and expense of switching from traditional impressions.

“Anyone that practices dentistry is aware that the current method of taking impressions—polyvinyl and polyether impressions—works just fine,” explains Dr. Mike DiTolla, Dentsply Sirona, Director of Clinical Affairs. “It’s easy to do. Every dentist knows how to do it and it’s not broken. You have to see what the advantages of digital are because they need to be significant to get you to change from something you’re familiar with that is already working.”

So, who is right: The people who are just fine with traditional impressions, or the people who tout the digital method? At this point, the jury of clinical opinion is still deliberating. In the meantime, let’s explore that question in several ways and learn how intraoral scanning is playing out in the real world of clinical practice.

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