common dental impression errors

7 Common Dental Impression Errors and How to avoid them

       Our custom night guards have high requirements for impressions, so we need to ensure the quality of the impressions as much as possible to achieve the highest accuracy when making the night guards. Any inaccuracies in the impression can significantly affect the final custom night guard; even a 0.5mm error can result in a night guard that is too loose, too tight, or even unwearable. Therefore, some things could be improved when making the Kiry at-home impressions. To help reduce the chances of needing to redo the impression and to minimize delays in receiving your night guard, we have listed the following common errors for your reference and to avoid.

1. Double or Multiple Teeth Impressions

Double Teeth Impressions
       As shown in the image above, there are multiple teeth impressions in the front teeth area. It usually occurs because the position of the teeth and the tray weren't properly aligned before biting down. After biting down, discomfort might arise from other parts of the mouth touching the tray walls, leading to repositioning and re-biting or directly moving the teeth for multiple bites. It results in a compromised impression, which can significantly affect the accuracy of the final night guard. It is essential to avoid this issue.

2. Severe Impression Stretching

Impression Stretching
       As shown in the image, there is an extended stretch area above each tooth, far exceeding the original length of the teeth. This situation destroys the original gum line, making it impossible to determine the actual size of the teeth. An impression of this problem will likely result in a wildly inaccurate night guard. The cause of this issue is usually not following the instructions to leave the putty in the mouth for more than 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Keep the following text in mind: "When the putty is not fully fixed." removing the tray can stretch the material, creating a long trajectory that covers the original gum line.

3. Impression Removed from the Tray

Impression Removed from the Tray
       This issue also occurs frequently, even though our instructions clearly state they should not remove the impression from the tray. Removing the impression can cause damage or deformation, as the set impression is tightly attached to the tray. The effort required to remove it can easily damage the impression. Furthermore, even if it is not damaged during removal, it is very likely to be deformed during shipping without the protection of the tray.

4. Insufficient Putty Usage

Insufficient Putty Usage
       The image shows that the amount of putty used is significantly less than the average amount. The customer only used half of the base and half of the catalyst. An impression with insufficient putty is likely to be bitten through or may not adequately capture all the teeth. Additionally, if the 1:1 ratio of putty is not maintained, the mixture may not be uniform, preventing a proper chemical reaction. It will also result in an inaccurate impression.

   5. Tray Touching

Tray Touching
       This issue is the most common. As seen in the image, the last tooth is not fully captured because it touched the side wall of the tray, and the gum line is not visible at all. The cause of this problem is incorrect tray selection. If the back teeth severely touch the outer wall, a larger tray should be used for a new impression. Conversely, a smaller tray should be selected for the new impression if the back teeth touch the inner wall.

 6. Shallow Impression

Shallow Impression
       The consequence of this issue is evident: the dental structure is not fully captured, making it impossible to create a night guard. This problem usually occurs because the instructions to complete the process within 1 minute and 20 seconds were not followed during the mixing and kneading of the putty. If the putty is left for too long, beyond this specified time, it begins to react and harden chemically. Attempting to take an impression under these conditions will undoubtedly be unsuccessful.

   7. Incomplete Mixing of Putty

Incomplete Mixing of Putty
       This issue is also prevalent, typically caused by improperly mixing the base (blue or green) and catalyst (white) according to the instructions. Mixing should be done quickly, and the process should be completed within 1 minute to ensure the putty turns into a uniform color. In the image, we can see many white spots of unmixed putty on the surface of the impression, indicating insufficient mixing. Impression shall not be fully set and can easily deform, resulting in an inaccurate dental impression that can't be used.
       Here are the seven common mistakes that occur when making at-home impressions. We understand that making impressions is not always enjoyable, but it is essential to ensure the accuracy and comfort of your night guard. Learning how to make impressions proficiently is achievable through practice. Compared to the cost of visiting a dentist, this method is more economical and easier to manage.
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