Dental professionals generally use impressions to create exact replicas of their patientsa�� teeth. Impressions form a negative mold or imprint of the patienta��s teeth and gums, and this mold is later used to make a positive model of the teeth. Of course, the process of actually taking a dental impression can be quite complicated, and sometimes dental hygienists will have to perform the task several times before getting an accurate representation of the patienta��s teeth.
If you plan to pursue dental hygienist training, you will eventually learn to master the technique of successfully taking dental impressions. Here is a quick guide to help you understand more about this process:
Why Are Impressions Taken?
Graduates of dental assistant schools know that dental impressions play a crucial role in dentistry. This is because they are used to build tons of restorative dental items including crowns, bridges, implants, mouth guards, retainers and more.
Selecting the Right Impression Tray
Professionals with dental assistant training know that impression trays come in a variety of shapes and sizes to cater to each patient individually (since everyone has a unique mouth). Choosing the right tray for a patient is very important, since it can affect how accurate the impression will turn out. The first step is to ensure that the tray fits comfortably inside the patienta��s mouth before filling it with any materials. Since there are two main types of impression materials that can be used, there are also two types of traysa��one that is perforated, and another that is smoothed. The perforated one is used with alginate, while the smooth one is used with silicone.
Dental assistants recognize this material as the one that is most commonly used for dental impressions. Alginate is a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed, which is dispersed in water to become mouldable. Ita��s important to note that alginate cannot return to a solution state once it has been gelatinized, which is ideal since dental moldings need to be firm in order to be used to create reparative products. Experts know that alginate is the most popular impression material choice for dentists because it is inexpensive, easy to remove and control, and it has a neutral taste.
Silicone impressions are available in several varieties of density, which range from light to medium to heavy bodied. Light body silicone is used when a lot of detail is needed. For example, a tooth that is being prepared for a crown would require light body silicone for extreme accuracy. Medium to heavy body silicone is much thicker compared to light body. These materials are commonly used to fill the tray when taking an impression, since they are stiff and can gain close contact with the teeth.
The Ideal Impression
Dentistry professionals know that there are three key measurements of whether or not an ideal impression has been taken. A dental hygienist should ensure that the impression material is correctly extended throughout the tray, that the final impression has good surface detail, and that all of the relevant anatomical landmarks have been incorporated. If this criteria has been met, then the dental impression was correctly taken.
Have you ever had a dental impression taken of your teeth? What other materials might be used to create a dental impression?