Taking good impressions is an extremely valuable skill that often goes overlooked in the dental world. It’s not big-picture like occlusion or compelling like the intricacies of rehab cementation.

But as with most deceptively complicated matters, the devil is in the details. Accurate, problem-free impressions can save you time, energy, and headaches. They seem like they would be simple, but it’s easy to take shortcuts at the outset that lead to inefficiency and major problems in the long run.

One way to approach impressions is to think about them from the lab perspective. Here are two problems identified by Gold Dust Dental Lab that can make a huge difference in impression quality:

2 Problems With Impressions and How to Fix Them

discontinuity in impressions1. Discontinuity

This issue is subtle. If there is even the smallest discontinuity in the line of the preparation design, you have to restart the entire impression process.

The veneer can’t be made if the dentist clings too much to “saving” healthy tooth structure. Even the smallest absence of continuous form can be insurmountable for the lab.

2. Undercuts and Abfractions

This is another example where being too desperate to save tooth structure can be detrimental.

Taking the natural abfraction will not enable the lab to better capture the patient’s tooth structure. Being too conservative is just as bad as being too aggressive.

The problem is similar with undercuts. Preserving the shape of the tooth prevents the lab from devising an intimate fit in the crown or veneer. Bacterial contaminants thus become more likely.

Most importantly, assess your preparation design from as many perspectives as possible. Pay attention to the details because the lab is working on a very precise scale. This will help you and the lab achieve perfect dental harmony.

What do you find challenging about impressions? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!