Dentists commonly create crowns, bridges, dentures and implants by taking an impression of the patient’s mouth and using that mold to form the prosthetic teeth. To do this, the dentist inserts a tray with soft goo into the patient’s mouth and waits several minutes for it to harden to a stiff putty. After being forced off the teeth, it must then finish drying before it can be used to form new teeth. The process is typically uncomfortable, but scientists may have found a new, cheap dental method.
A new product called iTero will render the traditional method of taking dental impressions obsolete. It is fast, painless and free of mess, creating an exact replica of the patient’s teeth, resulting in a better fitted crown or bridge in 10 minutes. iTero allows dentists to generate a dental impression by quickly scanning the inside of a person’s mouth with a handheld wand. Images of the patient’s mouth are captured in real time, then magnified and displayed on a monitor while the patient is still in the chair. This enables dentists to make any necessary adjustments before completing the scanning process. (Source)
This technology is already available in several states. It could eliminate extra adjustments and ill-fitting dental work by providing more accurate information.