What are impressions?

Impressions of the teeth are taken to enable us to make a model of the teeth, either for diagnosis or to construct an orthodontic appliance. Impressions are taken by filling a well-fitted plastic tray with a pasty substance called alginate, which looks like frosting and is about the consistency of peanut butter. We offer a variety of flavorings for the alginate, so it tastes good. Once the tray is filled, it is then placed in the mouth for about a minute until the alginate starts to set like Jell-O. When the tray is then removed and you look at it, you can see dents or “impressions” of all your teeth. Later, this impression will be filled with Plaster of Paris, and when it hardens, we will have constructed an exact model of your teeth.

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