Reported August 2007
WASHINGTON DC, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Patients are all smiles about a new, mess-free way to make teeth impressions. Now, there's new hope for dental patients enduring the unpleasant, messy process of making teeth molds.
Brigitte Akalovsky is one of 50 million patients each year needing a crown placed over a damaged tooth. But before fixing a tooth, patients are traditionally stuck with a mouthful of messy, bad-tasting material to make a tooth mold.
"You don't like it. You have this big, gooey thing in your mouth and it's just bulky," Akalovsky said.
Now, Brigitte's tooth repair is mess-free. Prosthodontists are using a new digital technology that creates a 3D image of patients' teeth, eliminating the need for messy molds.
"Because its all three-dimensional digital images, it's a much more accurate product that we get," Juan Loza, D.D.S., prosthodontist, said.
A hand-held scanner takes digital pictures of a patient's damaged and surrounding teeth. The three-dimensional images are then displayed on a screen, and then sent electronically to a lab that creates a final, more precise fitting crown.
"It brings a whole new level of technology that was not available until now in my practice. Now, I have a digital system that is very accurate," Dr. Loza said.
The digital dentistry helps create near perfect impressions that almost eliminate refitting for crowns and bridge implants -- and made a perfect picture fit for Brigitte.h
"Very quick, the fitting was perfect," Akalovsky said.
The 3D digital technology is available in several states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, Colorado and Utah.
The Optical Society of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
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