Digital vs. Conventional Implant Impressions: What do you prefer?

When it comes to implant impression techniques, is digital intraoral scanning (IOS) more efficient than the the conventional method? And which technique is more difficult to apply? This interesting question was the subject of a recent randomized controlled trial to analyze implant impression techniques applying intraoral scanning (IOS) and the conventional method according to time efficiency, difficulty, and operator’s preference.1

The study concluded:

For single-implant sites, the quadrant-like intraoral scanning (IOS) was more time efficient than the conventional full-arch impression technique in a phantom head simulating standardized optimal conditions. A high level of acceptance for IOS was observed among students and dentists. (76% of the students preferred IOS, 48% of the dentists were favoring conventional impressions, and 26% each IOS and either technique.)1

What has been your experience when comparing the efficiency and difficulty between digital and conventional, and what is your preference?

Read the Full Abstract Here

1. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2016 Sep 5. Time efficiency, difficulty, and operator’s preference comparing digital and conventional implant impressions: a randomized controlled trial.
.Joda T, et al.

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2 thoughts on “Digital vs. Conventional Implant Impressions: What do you prefer?

  1. We prefer digital IOS to conventional impression techniques. Having the ability to see the preparation/s immediately and the ability to modify the preparation and easily fill in scan data is much more efficient than retaking of conventional impressions.

    There is also elimination of potential inaccuracies that can arise from conventional impression material such as incorrect mixing of parts, to patient movement during setting of the material as well as other potential problems during pouring of these types of impressions.

    We have found the fit of all of our restorations to be just as good if not better than when we were using traditional impression techniques (we were using polyether material).

  2. These past couple of years have brought significant improvements in the hardware, software and speed of the available intraoral scanner systems.
    You still may have some limitations depending on the implant system you use and whether there is software available for it, but the advantages of the digital impression protocol are many and trump the conventional impressions in many ways.
    A new example of the efficiency of the systems is explained in my article published by Chairside magazine this year. The article is available online here:
    I encourage everyone to get some hand-on exposure to this technology and see if it fits your practice.

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