As I’ve been assisting the third and fourth-year dental students in the clinic over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity of taking quite a few impressions on many different patients.
I think the whole impression and plaster pouring ordeal is kind of interesting. However, many students and patients don’t seem to love it. The whole process is a bit messy. Inevitably, the patient needs help removing the impression material that got stuck on his or her face. Also, it leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Oddly enough, it doesn’t appear as though the man to the left is having the time of his life while his impression is being taken. So why do we take those dental impressions anyways?
Why Dentists Need to Take Impressions of Your Mouth
A dentist might need an impression of your teeth for many reasons. A few of the more common reasons are:
- To make a removable partial denture or a complete denture
- To make a conventional dental crown – the newer Cerec in-office crowns can take digital impressions, without the need for the messy impression material.
- To make bridges or fixed partial dentures.
- To analyze the relationship of your jaws. This can be useful for orthodontic treatment as well as an evaluation for oral surgery.
- To make a custom mouthguard for protection while playing sports or to wear at night to prevent teeth grinding.
- To make custom teeth whitening trays.
- To make oral appliances such as space maintainers.
- To know how your teeth look in case you chip or damage one or more so that they can be properly restored to their ideal shape and size.
These are just a few of the reasons that I could think of. There may be many more. If your dentist wants to take an impression of your teeth, then he or she likely has a good reason. It is always a good idea to communicate with your dentist to find out the reasons behind their actions, whether they include taking dental impressions or not. If you have an experience with a dental impression that you’d like to share, or if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below in the comments section.