Welcome back to the Blog! I hope you’ve had a nice break, but I have returned and am ready to tell you all about the special technology that sets your West Seattle dentist apart from the other dentists in the area. Check back all this month to find out what some of that technology is!
The first thing I’m excited to share with you is that Dr. Kirchner has implemented an iTero into the office. Now, this isn’t some fancy iPod. An iTero is a digital way for Dr. Kirchner to take an impression of your teeth. What this means for you, the patient, is that you don’t have to hold an eewy gooey impression in your mouth for 4+ minutes anymore!
Wait, why did I have to hold an impression in my mouth that long anyway?
So, if you are having a crown done, or having a “cap” put on one of your teeth, the way it is made (the short version) is Dr. Kirchner makes the tooth small enough for a crown to fit over, takes an impression and then sends that impression to the lab. The lab pours stone in your impression to make a model, and then forms the crown off of that model. Then it comes back to you, Dr. Kirchner glues(“cements”) the crown on to your tooth and VOILA! You have a functional tooth again.
The thing is, even though Dr. Kirchner does an excellent job getting your tooth ready for a crown, there is always a chance that there could be a small margin of error in the impression. This is due to the fact that the impression could get twisted when its pulled out of the mouth or if the timing isn’t just right on letting it harden or if its not mixed just right, of these factors could lead to distortion, which, in the common tongue, means the impression is messed up and leads to a messed up crown if not caught. Usually, Dr. Kirchner can tell right away if there is distortion, and will ask for another impression. Granted, this doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..wait, so how does iTero fit in here and why is it awesome?
With in iTero, what happens is this: Using an intra-oral camera (a camera that is safe to go in the mouth) Dr. Kirchner scans the area she has just prepared. This scan creates an extremism accurate 3D digital model of both the upper and lower teeth. Once she determines this model is accurate and free of distortion, she emails it to the lab. The lab then uses this information to construct and equally accurate physical stone model of the teeth. They then use that model to make the crown, crowns, or bridge.
The beauty of this system is that if while Dr. Kirchner is scanning the area, if something doesn’t look quite right, she can retake a picture right then and there, instead of having to take another impression. Speaking of impressions, there aren’t any! No more gooey stuff in your mouth that feels like its slowly creeping down your throat! And, since everything is so accurate, usually the crown is a perfect fit when it comes back, which means you are in the dental chair for a shorter amount of time. Woot!
Need a crown done but have been putting it off because of the goop? Give the office a call today and check out the iTero!