Why not using digital dentistry is weighing down your practice


– Definition and Origin
– Impression Methods
– Primary Impressions
– Final Impressions
– Bite Registration
– Traditional Impression Process
– Advantages of Digital Dentistry
– Technology
– Northstar Dental Studio’s Process

What is Digital Dentistry?

Digital dentistry utilizes computer-based technology to assist dentists in delivering treatment, such as digital scanning for impressions and diagnostics. This field began with Dr. François Duret’s CAD/CAM application in 1984 and has since expanded significantly. Despite these innovations, adoption has been slow, with around 85% of dental clinics worldwide still using conventional impression methods.

Digital technologies in dentistry offer greater precision, accuracy, and efficiency, which improves patient outcomes.

Previous Impression Methods
There are three types of impressions:

Primary Impressions: Used for diagnosis or as the initial step in making prostheses like crowns and dentures. These are often made during the patient’s first visit, providing a visual aid for treatment planning.
Final Impressions: Sent to a dental lab for the creation of dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and retainers.
Bite Registration: Illustrates how the upper and lower teeth fit together.

Traditional Impressions

Traditional impressions typically use impressionable VPS putty to mold the patient’s teeth. This process involves:

Distributing the putty into a tray.
Placing the tray onto the patient’s teeth and holding it for a few minutes.
Removing the tray once the putty hardens.
Sending the model to a dental lab, where stone is poured into the crevices and allowed to harden, then attaching the hardened impression to a frame.
This entire process can be replicated with digital dentistry to a higher degree of precision and with much less labor and patient discomfort, saving both time and money.

Advantages of Digital Over Traditional Methods

Shorter Turnaround Time: Reduced waiting periods.
One-Way Only Delivery Period: Simplifies logistics.
Less Time in the Lab: Streamlined lab processes.
Easier Redo: 3D printed models can be easily reproduced.
Shorter Patient In-Chair Time: Quick scanning sessions.
Less Patient Discomfort: No invasive treatment.
Simpler Process: Smoother and less stressful for practitioners.
Fewer Tools Needed: One tool suffices for multiple functions.
Perfect Model: High accuracy with 3D printing.
Flexibility: Adaptable to various needs.
Cost-Effective: Reduces labor and material costs.

How Does Digital Dentistry Work?

Digital dentistry requires a smaller amount of high-quality hardware and software, which streamline your processes by using the same tools for every patient and case.

Several notable companies sell intraoral scanners, such as iTero, 3Shape, and Medit. These scanners connect to a computer that processes the images taken by the scanner. Intraoral scanners capture tens of thousands of 2D pictures, which the software stitches together to create a digital model. The model updates in real-time, with a full arch scan taking from 30 seconds to a few minutes.

What Does Northstar Dental Studio Do with the Scans?
Once we receive the scans, our Exocad software experts trim the scan and go through a series of processes based on the case type to prepare it for printing. Most of the work is done digitally, and the final product is printed using one of our cutting-edge printers. We have heavily invested in our capabilities to streamline the digital and printing processes, providing the best digital dentistry services available in the Twin Cities.

For inquiries about digital dental questions, feel free to call or email us during our hours.

For free scan bodies for your digital implants, contact us however you want.


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4. Singer, Andrew. “How Does an Intraoral Scanner Work.” 3shape.Com. 3shape, March 18, 2024. https://doi.org/https://www.3shape.com/en-us/blog/2024/how-intraoral-scanner-works.
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