We recently asked some of our providers to share their tips & tricks for taking impressions.
Nothing here should be taken as official advice or recommendation from ClearCorrect or it's employees. It's up to you to use your professional judgement on what is best for you and your patients.
Here are some pearls of wisdom a few of our providers wanted to share.
Tips & tricks on impression technique
- "Put putty in a good fitting tray, put plastic (like saran wrap) on putty, put in mouth and then when set, remove plastic and use light body syringe around teeth and put back in mouth until set. The putty is like a custom tray."
- "Dry off the teeth with gauze first, and make sure the tray fits passively over the entire dentition."
- "Don’t overseat the tray to the point where it contacts the teeth. It will cause a perforation in the impression material."
- "I have the assistant dry the teeth completely with a 2x2 piece of gauze, prior to placing tray in mouth. I load most of the tray with a layer of putty or heavy body, and a thin layer of light body PVS, then quickly put a thin layer of light body directly on the teeth, especially on the facial of the anteriors. I make sure that the lip is retracted to avoid trapping air."
- "Dry the mouth and begin from the distal of the most posterior tooth, and concentrate more on lingual of lower and buccal of upper."
- "I use a universal body straight out of the cartridge intra-orally and in the tray. I place material via the cartridge over all teeth and add extra around and in the buccal space of the most posterior tooth bilaterally."
- "Be sure to use adequate materials."
- "Place light body on all surfaces of teeth to be included in the treatment, then place the heavy body over it."
- "I prefer to let the putty set a little before I put the PVS wash in. This prevents my pushing through to the putty and/or the trays."
- "I do a putty/wash technique. The trick though is to pop in the putty impression first, pop it out in 12 seconds or so, fill the wash into the putty, and reseat while both are soft and let them solidify in tandem…no distortion of trim needed."
- "Put a thin layer of wash on top of heavy body at the occlusal and incisal position prior to seating. Have patient rinse mouth with mouthwash prior to impression to cut surface tension. May need to prophy first to remove heavy plaque or food from between teeth."
- "Place a strip of red rope wax across the posterior border of the upper impression tray to limit the flow of the impression material posteriorly."
- "I have a lot of success with 3M Position & trays. You can use a border molding/wash technique by systematically adding material and the design of the tray helps prevent overflow which reduces the gag reflex."
- "Having the patient bite slightly helps if they can."
Tips on tools for taking impressions
- "Use OptraGate retractors."
- "Use cheek retractors."
- "Use a very stiff, fast set, VBS material in small amount at end of the tray as a separate first step to stabilize tray for final impression and to prevent material from running past tray and gagging the patient."
- "I now use different viscosity material for my orthodontic impressions than I use for crown & bridge impressions. My assistant fills the tray with a syringeable monophase PVS while I dry the teeth and syringe a light body PVS on the occlusal surface. I then place a thin layer of the light body PVS over the monophase in the tray, and seat. Works every time!"
- "I use wax in the posterior of the trays to build a “dam” on the upper to prevent pulls or running of material. Both putty/wash and heavy body wash works well."
- "I typically do a light body wash over a medium body. That usually helps pick up the sulci accurately."
- "I use a fast set (90 second) from Parkell to minimize patient gagging and discomfort."
- I use Panasil Tray Fast Heavy and Panasil Initial Contact X-Light."
General tips on taking impressions
- "Practice – technique is more important than materials."
- "Prepare patient that it is not the most comfortable experience but it will be over quickly and cooperation is needed to ensure you only have to do each arch once."
- "Take your time."
- "Patient compliance is very important."
Tips about scanners
- "The CEREC Omnicam is very intuitive."
- "Intraoral scanner is the way to go!!"
- "Getting dental impressions is easy with my OmiCam!"
We hope you found some of the information helpful!
Until next time...