Online Dental Education Library
Our dentists and team strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library and AGD Fact Sheet links below to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment or contact us.
- Academy of General Dentistry
- Allergies and Dentistry
- Athletic Mouthguards
- Children's Oral Health
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Dental Emergencies
- Dental Emergencies #2
- Dental Insurance
- Dental Sealants
- Dentin Hypersensitivity
- Dentures #2
- Dry Mouth
- Effects of Smoking on the Mouth
- Family Oral Health
- Fellow and Masters of the AGD
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Geriatric Dental Care
- Men's Oral Health
- Mouth Rinses
- Mouth Sores
- Oral Cancer
- Oral Care and Cancer
- Oral Hygiene
- Oral Piercing
- Pain Management
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Periodontal Disease
- Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular Disease
- Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
- Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy
- Root Canal Therapy
- Sensitive Teeth
- Tooth Decay
- Tooth Erosion
- Women's Oral Health
For years, whenever you needed a dental crown (cap), your dentist had to make molds of your teeth which required taking an impression of your teeth. A tray filled with a goopy, putty-like material was used so that a three-dimensional model of the prepared tooth could be created. Using this mold, a dental lab could custom-craft the new crown.
However, as we journey further into the technology-driven 21st century, this traditional methodology is being replaced with virtual models — made using small, handheld “wands” that employ a digital camera and some reflective dust.
Here's how it works
The initial phase of restoration, preparing the tooth surface, remains virtually the same. First, any dental decay must be removed, and the remaining tooth must be shaped so that a crown or filling can be fitted properly. This will allow the tooth to be restored to its original shape, look, and function. Next, the area is lightly dusted with a reflective material (not a goopy impression material) so that multiple images of your tooth's surface can be recorded with a small scanning wand. Later, the computer component is connected to the scanning wand and these separate images are combined into a computer-generated 3D image.
This remarkable tool uses blue wavelength light to precisely capture the unique nooks and crannies of your tooth's surface and make a highly accurate 3D digital model. It makes it possible to instantaneously examine your tooth, and your bite. It's possible to identify any additional prep work required for new crowns, veneers and fillings right then and there; to implement any needed changes; and to rescan the tooth to create a new series of images and 3D model.
Once the image capture and prep work are satisfactory, your images are sent on to the lab for fabrication. This technique makes it possible to create a crown or a filling that can often be completed during a single office visit.
How this technology benefits you
- Finally, you can say goodbye to the goop, gagging, discomfort, and anxiety you've experienced in the past with traditional dental impression materials!
- It enables the immediate assessment of whether or not your tooth has been properly prepared for restoration.
- This technology is ideal for fabricating restorations such as new crowns, veneers and fillings for teeth — often possible in one office visit.
- It takes less time than traditional dental impressions.