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Impressions can make or break a case. If it comes to you with problems, you're never going to be able to produce something great, no matter how hard you try.
But if it comes in spotless, your work can make the doctor's (and patient's) day! Here are three tools (including at least one you already use every day!) that can make dealing with impressions a lot easier:
1. A scanner
For time immemorial, one of the biggest headaches faced by dental technicians is receiving an impression from a dentist, only to discover something totally unusable. Whether it’s a poor bite registry, a botched impression thanks to careless hands (or a patient who can’t quite sit still), poor impressions make it impossible to deliver what the dentist and patient want-no matter what the dentist screams into the phone at the lab technician! But things are beginning to shift. More and more manufacturers are beginning to introduce intraoral and benchtop scanners specifically geared to the dental office.
And these scanners have made it through the growing pains phase-no longer should you receive half-scans that are essentially useless. Instead, you should be able to receive excellent digital scans you can plug right into your CAD software and get to work. Gone are the days of goopy, smeared impressions; now you can receive a 3D impression you can pour your artistry into. Just make sure you’re ready to receive your dentists’ scans and you’re all set.
2. A telephone
You might think this is a joke, but the lowly telephone is actually one of your best friends when it comes to getting great impression results. The fact is, your dentist and his or her team want to get you impressions that will lead to an excellent restoration and a happy patient. Sending you a poor impression that leads to another in-chair appointment or a terrible fit just isn’t in the best interest (or bottom line) for the practitioner. So if you see a bad impression come in from your dentist: Call him! And if it’s a pattern you’re noticing, offer to come in and show the whole team what you need in an impression to deliver great results. Your clients will be impressed with your diligence-and that you took the time to work through a problem with them rather than delivering something they can’t use.
You know how important the right materials are when making a crown or a removable. Why should impression materials be any different? While you have every right to hope that your dental clients will do the research to pick the best material for their impressions, you can also benefit from doing a little digging on the current leaders in the impressions market.
Who are the manufacturers that understand what dentists-and labs-need from impressions? Find out what the leading options are in both traditional materials, and in scanning materials. You can make yourself an invaluable resource to your dental clients, and that’s a role that can continue long beyond any impression issues.
Photo credit: bbostjan/ Getty Images