Logo IFED 8th World Congress in Munich 2013


Prof. Dr. Irena Sailer

Introduction: Traditional vs. Digital Impressioning

Friday, September 20th, 2013
Session 5: 13:45-15:15
Prof. Dr. Irena Sailer


Digital impressions have been introduced to dentristry more than 25 years ago with the development of the Cerec CAD/CAM system. This first chairside CAD/CAM system opened up a completely new way of fabrication of dental reconstructions, i.e. an entirely digital way, nowadays named the "digital workflow". Until then the traditional procedures encompassed conventional impressions poured with stone in the dental laboratory, and manual fabrication of the reconstruction out of various materials on stone mastercasts by a dental technician. The new approach was, that the impression was taken digitally with an intoraoral device, the reconstructions were digitally designed on a computer screen and finally milled out of pre-fabricated solid ceramic blocks.
This development was visionary, however, it did not replace the traditional procedures due to the fact that only single reconstructions could be made.
More recently, several new systems for the digital impression have been introduced. These digital impression systems are linked to corresponding lab-side CAD/CAM manufacturing procedures, and thereby offer a broader application of the "digital workflow" for the fabrication of dental reconstructions. The digital impression systems available today offer numerous advantages, like e.g. the precision of the reconstructions. Yet, the workflow also has several limitations and traditional procedures are still needed. This session will discuss the current possibilities and limitations of traditional and digital impressions and reconstruction fabrication ways.


Irena Sailer studied at the University of Tübingen where she passed her state exam in 1997 after which she received her doctorate in 1998. From 1998 to 1999 she worked as an assistant for further education and training in oral surgery at the Clinic for Oral Surgery of the University of Zürich in Switzerland. In 1999 she became the assistant for further education and training at the Clinic for Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics and Dental Material Sciences at the same university in Zurich. There she was appointed as Senior Assistant in 2003, increasingly concentrating on research in the fields of dental- and implant-supported reconstructions. Within the scope of this research she was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, Dental College of New York University in 2007.

Since 2010 Dr. Sailer has been an Associate Professor at the Clinic for Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics and Dental Material Sciences. Furthermore, since 2009 she has been a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, School of Dental Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA.

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