12 Porter Street      |      Melrose, MA 02176

(781) 665-1552

Understanding Dental Impressions’ Role in Dental Procedures

Dental impressions are copies of the shapes of your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. They are used to make dental restorations, whitening products, trays, retainers, mouth guards, and more. They are also used to build diagnostic models of your mouth. Digital or conventional dental imprints are both possible.

Digital dental impressions employ a handheld wand and imaging software to capture photographs, as opposed to conventional dental impressions, which use a special putty.

In the following sections, learn about dental impressions and their importance in dental procedures.

What Is the Purpose of a Dental Impression?

Casts or representations of your mouth are made using dental imprints. These models demonstrate to your dentist the size and placement of your teeth and gums and how your dental arches fit together. They are utilized for a variety of oral appliances and dental restorations.

What Kinds of Dental Impressions Are There?

The three main types are preliminary, final, and bite dental registration impressions.

  • Preliminary impressions: For diagnostic purposes or as the first step in the fabrication of various prostheses, like crowns and dentures, preliminary impressions are employed. 

They are frequently created on your first office visit. They offer a visual aid for your dentist to plan out your treatment.

  • Final impressions: For the creation of dental restorations or appliances, final impressions are submitted to a dental laboratory. These could include dentures, crowns, bridges, retainers, and more.
  • Bite registration: Your upper and lower teeth’ relationship to one another can be seen in this impression.

Making a dental impression that is then filled with dental plaster to make a dental cast allows impression materials to replicate the teeth and nearby oral structures. This method creates an exact, three-dimensional duplicate of the mouth, enabling dental work even when the patient isn’t there.

Since the teeth can be precisely viewed and examined from angles that are challenging to see in the patient’s mouth, dental models help dentists make better diagnoses and treatment plans. 

Dental casts are used to implement specific treatments, such as detachable and fixed prostheses. The degree to which the impression material accurately captures the tissue details will determine how well the final restoration or prosthesis fits.

What Occurs When a Dental Impression Is Taken?

Your healthcare professional may take dental impressions with traditional dental putty or digital impressions. Although the methods differ, the results are similar.

Standard Dental Putty

During this process, your healthcare professional fills plastic or metal trays with putty-like dental impression material. The trays will then be placed over your teeth. 

The dental impression substance sets and hardens after a few seconds. Finally, your healthcare provider takes the trays and imprint material out of your mouth.

You next send your impressions to a dental laboratory. A professional will cast your mouth using the dental impressions you provided.

Digital Dental Impressions

Digital dental imprints can now be taken in many dental practices. Thousands of images of your teeth and gums are taken using a computerized handheld wand during this process by your healthcare professional. 

Images of your mouth will appear on a computer screen while your healthcare practitioner moves the wand over your teeth. The software will then combine the photos to produce a computerized, three-dimensional model of your dental arches. 

Dental impressions taken digitally don’t require a putty. The dental lab will subsequently receive your photo data via electronic transfer from your healthcare provider. An expert will start working on your case there.


Your healthcare practitioner will submit your dental impressions to a lab once they are finished. In your instance, a skilled dental technician will get to work.

Depending on your circumstances, this process could take a week or several weeks. Your dentist may choose to install a temporary restoration to maintain the health of your mouth while waiting for your imprint to be settled.

Receive premium Melrose family dental with Melrose Dental Group. We provide patients with comprehensive dental care and firmly believe in educating patients about their oral health and recommending custom dental treatments. Book your dental appointment with us today.

12 Porter Street, Melrose, MA 02176 – phone (781) 665-1552 – fax (781) 665-5826
Copyright © Melrose Dental Group | Dr. Piro Leno. All rights reserved.

 Melrose Dental Group | 12 Porter Street Melrose, MA 02170 | (781) 665-1552