Not going back to traditional impressions

Dr Simon Chard talks about the many benefits the CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) Omnicam brings to his daily practice, as both a modular system and as an integral part of the CEREC digital workflow.

I use CEREC Omnicam intraoral scanner from Dentsply Sirona on a daily basis, primarily for restoring crowns and implants as well as scanning my orthodontic cases. I use scans to produce digital wax-ups that are used as a ‘trial smile’ to show patients what their potential smile make-over will look like before treatment even begins. It’s ideal for producing whitening trays for patients looking for whitening treatment but cannot tolerate traditional impressions or have a severe gag reflex. It’s also invaluable for scanning the end of my orthodontic cases to provide fixed and plastic retainers – the last piece of the treatment journey.

No fun for anyone

Using an intraoral scanner makes my working life, as well as my team’s, so much easier. I couldn’t imagine ever going back to take conventional impressions on a daily basis. It’s incredibly dull – I don’t enjoy it, the patient doesn’t enjoy it and it’s no fun for anyone, especially if the impression has to be redone for whatever reason. Sending the impression away to the lab and waiting days for its return is no fun either, hoping the crown will fit with the added worry that if there’s an open contact or bad occlusion it’s back to the drawing board and the process starts all over again.

It’s an outmoded workflow in comparison to being able to provide in-house restorations using CEREC in just one to two hours. I don’t think that any of my patients who’ve had a CEREC restoration could ever imagine going back to traditional impressions instead of using technology that’s so accurate and predictable.

The beauty of digital impressions is you can see very clearly what you are doing in real time. If you need to do any modifications they can be added to the scan there and then; you can simply add details as you go. Another benefit is you’re not having to use a stock tray for impressions, which doesn’t necessarily fit properly as every patient’s mouth is different. You don’t need to worry about the arch form or whether it’s big, wide, small or narrow – it’s no longer a concern with a digital scan.

Added benefits

The predictability and accuracy of a digital workflow virtually eliminates the need for remakes, makes considerable savings on lab fees and does away with the additional costs of impression materials. There is also a considerable environmental impact in that we are no longer using numerous plastic trays and large amounts of silicone, all of which has to be disposed of.

The CAD/CAM workflow offers a reliable, accurate and fast solution for patients who want optimum results in the minimum of time. There’s no question that demand for same-day aesthetic restorations is growing fast and that’s why we have invested in this state-of-the-art equipment – so our patients can benefit from the very latest technology.

To find out more about the extensive range of digital solutions, materials and equipment, please visit or call us on 01932 853 422.

You can also access a range of education resources, video tutorials, courses and CPD webinars at



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