There’s nothing like the feeling when a perfectly crafted crown drops into place. Unfortunately, many dental professionals will have the opposite experience at some point in their career. Having to create remakes or make adjustments is not only annoying for the patient, it can be frustrating for the provider too.
Luckily, there are 10 simple but golden rules for creating perfect dental impressions. Follow these to optimize your chance of creating the perfect impression the first time:
1. Choose appropriate tray/wash material, viscosities and material class according to impression technique and indication. Use properly fitting, rigid and sturdy impression trays.
2. Ensure adequate retraction and if necessary, stop any bleeding to achieve a clean and dry situation. If retraction agents are used, rinse and dry thoroughly.
3. Thoroughly apply tray adhesive and let dry appropriately to make sure that the impression material will not be detached upon tray removal. Alternatively use a 3M™ ESPE™ Impression Tray. Due to its integrated self-retentive fleece strip a tray adhesive is not needed.
4. Assure a uniform and homogeneous mix of the impression material and fill the tray with sufficient impression material. With 3M materials in Pentamix™ Automatic Mixing Units or Garant™ Cartridge format, proper automatic mixing is virtually guaranteed.
5. Use gloves that do not inhibit the setting of the impression material. Latex gloves can inhibit the setting of VPS impression materials, use nitrile gloves instead.
6. Keep the tip immersed in the material at all times during intra-oral syringing of the wash material to avoid entrapping air.
7. Slowly insert the loaded tray into the mouth, parallel to the long axes of the prepared teeth. Apply controlled pressure upon seating the tray to avoid contact between teeth/tissue and bottom of tray. Stay within working time of tray and wash material. Hold the tray in place without exerting pressure and avoid any movements that could shift the position of the tray and may lead to distortions.
8. When removing the tray from the mouth, avoid unilateral rotation. Follow the setting times indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions for use before removing the impression.
9. Check preparation margins and make sure that margins are captured entirely and properly. The following appearances may lead to inaccurate results: voids, tears, material distortions, flow defects, detachment from tray, delamination between heavy and light body, shine-through of tray.
10. Disinfect impressions properly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Rinse impression with water before and after disinfection and dry before sending to the lab.
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