The Anatomy of a Good Impression

anatomy_of_a_good_impression.jpgA high-quality impression is the foundation of a successful case. Whether for a submission or a revision, accurate impressions are vital to ensuring that treatment is effective and time-wasting delays are avoided. 

We've listed our guidelines for a good impression below. Follow along and view an example of an excellent impression on our printable guide:

Detailed, accurate occlusal surfaces.

A clear impression of the occlusal surfaces ensures that the aligners will have a tight fit.

  • Sharp cusps
  • Tray doesn't show through impression

All gingival margins are defined and clear.

Defined gingival margins ensure enough retention points are present for effective tooth movements.

  • Includes a minimum of 3-4mm of buccal and lingual surfaces outside gingival margin

Distal surfaces of molars are captured.

This is a common cause of missing retention points and fitting issues during phase 0. If your patient has short clinical crowns, getting a clear impression of the molars is especially important.

  • More than half of each molar is visible

Impression material is intact.

Damaged or thin impression material compromise the accuracy of the molds and resulting aligners.

  • No damage, warping, or separation of light and heavy material

No imperfections in the impression material.

Imperfections or double imprints in the impressions could affect the effectiveness of treatment with the resulting aligners.

  • No bubbles, voids, thin walls, shifts, or double imprints


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ClearCorrect is a medical device manufacturer and does not practice dentistry. The treating physician is solely responsible for prescribing and administering orthodontic treatment. Clear aligner therapy is unpredictable. ClearCorrect does not guarantee a successful treatment outcome. Individual results will vary.

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