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Implant Impression

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An implant impression is used for transferring the jaw position of an implant onto a plaster model. The dental technician uses this plaster model to fabricate an appropriate artificial prosthesis. There are two different techniques of recording an implant impression: the pick-up and the repositioning techniques. The pick-up technique is more accurate, but requires more work on part of the dentist. Here we will briefly explain the differences between these two techniques by means of a video.
Here is a patient after implant placement. The patient was involved in an accident in which she lost her front (anterior) teeth. Here is the situation after suture removal and prior to taking the impression. The temporary denture is being removed, and one can see the gum formers, or so-called gingival formers. These caps help the gums to heal after implant placement. The gingival formers must be unscrewed for the impression to be taken. First, the pick-up technique. The respective impression rods are placed and screwed tightly onto the implant with the so-called wax-up screw. The fit of the impression rods on the implants must be checked closely, because if they don’t fit perfectly, the dental technician will inevitably fabricate a faulty crown. Now the impression tray is customized. An opening for the wax-up screw is cut into the tray, because after hardening of the impression material, the wax-up screw must be loosened from the implant. This is the only way to separate the impression tray (together with the impression rods) from the implant; in this case, two holes were cut. Now one can see how the impression tray is filled with the impression material; in addition, impression material is spread around the impression posts with a nozzle. This is to ensure that the rods adhere to the impression and do not move around. After the impression compound hardens, the wax-up screw can be loosened from the implant owing to the customized impression tray. The impression (including the impression rods) is removed from the patient’s mouth. In the pick-up technique, the impression rod remains in the impression tray without any handling; in the repositioning technique, the situation is different.
Here is a brief animation describing the repositioning technique. The implant is anchored in the jawbone, and the impression rod is screwed onto the implant. Since the impression rod remains in the patient’s mouth when the impression is removed, the tray does not have to be customized—in other words—the tray does not have to be individualized. The impression rod is unscrewed from the implant after removal of the impression tray, into which the rod is then repositioned, thus giving rise to the name “repositioning impression.” However, subsequent handling of the impression tray may result in a distorted impression – the repositioning technique, it is more prone to flaws.

Implant Impression