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iTero Digital Impressions

iTero offers comfortable, convenient, and detailed digital impressions for our patients – Brooklyn and Staten Island orthodontist

In many cases, orthodontic treatment requires that the orthodontist obtain impressions of the mouth in some form. Traditionally, this was done by making physical impressions. However, many patients didn’t enjoy this process at all. Now, a new technology has become available that makes the process of taking impressions far more comfortable. It’s called iTero, and it’s a system for taking digital impressions.

What are digital impressions?

The iTero Intraoral Scanner is a handheld wand, on the end of which is a laser scanner. The wand is moved around inside of the patient’s open mouth in order to obtain images of the teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. Using this series of images, the iTero software is able to create a 3D digital model of the patient’s mouth.

The principal benefit of this digital model is that it allows the orthodontist to view the teeth from any angle without asking the patient to hold their head in an uncomfortable position. Various measurements that are needed for treatment can be taken from the computer model, instead of having to measure directly inside of the patient’s mouth. The iTero system facilitates treatment planning and can also be used for the fabrication of custom orthodontic appliances. By sending the digital impressions to an orthodontic laboratory, your orthodontist can have an appliance crafted that fits you perfectly.

Advantages of iTero

The iTero system has a few advantages over traditional methods of making impressions. The biggest advantage is that the use of dental impression material is no longer necessary. These materials (such as alginate, a type of fast-setting clay made from seaweed) have been used for years, however, many patients find them unpleasant. Some don’t like the taste, while others find that their gag reflex activated during the process of taking physical impressions. Particularly for younger patients, taking physical impressions can be quite unpleasant.

Your comfort is very important to us, and we do everything possible to help keep you comfortable. Using iTero, taking impressions is quick, easy, and causes less discomfort than older methods of taking impressions.

Additionally, digital impressions offer convenience: after scanning, your orthodontist is able to take measurements and plan your treatment immediately. With clay impressions, clay or plaster must be used to create a 3D model of the patient’s mouth. This physical model is then used to fabricate appliances and to plan treatment. With iTero, the 3D model is available immediately, rather than having to wait, and can be much more easily stored. Furthermore, the computer model can be manipulated digitally to take measurements and plan treatment, without requiring any additional chair time for the patient.

iTero scans can also be sent directly to laboratories, which fabricate custom orthodontic appliances. This reduces your wait time for your appliances, as there’s no need to ship a physical impression to the lab.