What Are Dental Impressions?

Posted by DENTAL SPECIALISTS OF NORTH FLORIDA on Mar 18 2022, 12:38 AM

A dental impression is a three-dimensional negative imprint of your teeth and mouth. Dental impressions are widely used for fabricating mouth guards, retainers, whitening trays, crowns, veneers, bridges, and dentures.

Our experienced team at Dental Specialists of North Florida in Saint Augustine and Palm Coast, Florida, use dental impressions to provide comfortably-fitting dental restorations and orthodontic appliances. 

In this article, we are sharing more information on what dental impressions are and their uses in dentistry.

Dental Impressions and Types

Dental impressions are used to generate a near-perfect duplicate of your teeth, oral tissues, or both. They are taken using a horseshoe-shaped plastic or metal tray that comfortably fits into your mouth. The tray can be customized based on specific requirements.

There are three main types of dental impressions: 

Preliminary Impressions

These are exact replicas of the patient's mouth that are often used for diagnosis, documentation of dental arches, and educational purposes.

Final Impressions

The full features of the tooth architecture and supporting tissues are captured in final impressions. They're utilized to create accurate casts of the tooth structures. Crowns, bridges, dentures, and other restorations are made with the help of these impressions.

Bite Registrations

Bite registrations are used to capture the occlusal connection between the dental arches, which is important for fabricating maxillary and mandibular casts.

How Are Dental Impressions Taken?

A liquid solution, such as alginate or polyvinyl siloxane, is placed in a U-shaped dish or tray that is appropriately fitted into the patient’s mouth to generate a dental impression. The material hardens once the tray is removed and is sent to a dental laboratory for further processing.

The trays come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including quadrant trays that cover half an arch and full trays that cover the entire maxillary or mandibular arch.

What to Expect?

Dental impressions do not cause pain. However, some patients with a sensitive gag reflex may experience some discomfort. Dentists recommend you practice breathing through the nose during the procedure.

The duration of the entire process depends on when the imprint of the teeth is formed. Generally, it only takes a couple of minutes to get your dental impressions.

For more information on dental impressions, call Dental Specialists of North Florida at (904) 794-1000 or (386) 986-1000. You can also get in touch with our dental experts by visiting us at 10 Saint Johns Medical Park Drive, Suite C, Saint Augustine, FL 32086, and 3 Cypress Branch Way # 107, Palm Coast, FL 32164.

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10 Saint Johns Medical Park Drive, Suite C, Saint Augustine, FL 32086

Phone: (904) 794-1000


  • MON - THU: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI - SUN: Closed
Contact Us

3 Cypress Branch Way # 107, Palm Coast, FL 32164

Phone: (386) 986-1000


  • MON - THU: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI: 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
  • SAT - SUN: Closed
Contact Us