When it comes to making impressions of teeth for oral appliances, patients often have to “open wide” before the cast is slid into their mouths. They must hold still, trying not to gag as the substance forms to their mouth. This can be difficult for some patients who are seeking an oral appliance for sleep apnea. 

One other option that seems to be popping up lately is the use of digital scans, according to a recent article. Many third party payors have approved these digital scans, but Medicare has long lagged behind. That is, until now.

What does that mean?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved digital impressions for Medicare beneficiaries who need oral appliances for sleep apnea. This comes after a push made by dental sleep medicine advocates. These individuals pointed to a need to shift local coverage determination to reflect the current state of the industry.

Digital scans remain the future of providing care to so many patients. This is especially true for those patients who have a sensitive gag reflex that can post barriers to proper care. These patients often also suffer from anxiety associated with sitting in the dental chair and waiting to receive manual impressions. This can lead to a delay in therapy for those patients.

Knowing this, I am curious if anyone has started using digital impressions for their patients?