August 27th, 2018
Scan vs Goo… Which is Right For You?
Written by Dr. Wilson
Have you ever had someone cram a tray loaded with chalky tasting goo in your mouth, and you sat there drooling and trying not to gag for five minutes? Hopefully it was your dentist who did that.
When I was in dental school at Northwestern we had the most technologically advanced training lab in the country. However, when it came time to learn how to take impressions of each other’s teeth, the material we used was I think stockpiled in the basement from the 50’s. It had a vaguely cherry flavor, was extremely runny, and took about eight minutes to set. Let’s just say the result was not pretty.
Fast forward to today, and we now have some fantastic new technology available to us. Instead of having a mouth full of goo, trying not to gag, we are now able to scan your teeth.
Scanning technology has advanced rapidly in the last few years and is now available at our office. We pass a wand over your teeth, and a 3D image appears on the computer screen. We can even show you a simulation of what your teeth will look like when they are perfectly straight. If you've ever wondered how you would look with straight teeth, now is your chance to find out!
The file created can now be sent electronically to the orthodontic lab, where they use 3D printers to print a model of your teeth in order to fabricate appliances, retainers, etc. The other nice thing about this is the electronic file exists forever, and eliminates the need for repeat impressions if say your dog eats your retainer (yes that happens a lot even though we warn people).