When I am making an impression for an indirect restoration, I am concerned about using products that have excellent physical properties. I am also concerned about efficiency and patient comfort. I have a longstanding respect for polyether impression materials, but my patients often complain about the taste of the material and the setting time. I have worked with a myriad of vinyl polysiloxane (VPS) impression materials, and I have faced some challenges, including high cost and low tear resistance. I decided to try the EXA line of impression materials from GC America, and I believe that I have finally found the ideal combination of impression materials in my practice for my indirect restorations.
Exa’lence is an impression material with new technology that merges the properties of vinyl polysiloxane and polyether. Exa’lence is a vinyl polyether siloxane (VPES) with excellent accuracy. It has the hydrophilicity and detail reproduction of a polyether with the excellent taste and easy handling of a VPS. I use this material for any case when managing moisture is challenging or for larger cases when I prefer a longer working time.
ExaFast is a vinyl polysiloxane impression material that is a fast-set material. It is indicated for one to three units, as its total setting time is fast (approximately 2.5 minutes). I use this material for implant and natural tooth restorations but for no more than three units.
When I use either Exa’lence or ExaFast, I remove my gingival retraction cord and inject the light-viscosity impression material onto the tooth while my assistant loads the heavy-viscosity material into the impression tray. I then seat the impression tray onto the tooth.
Note: These are different materials with different technologies and are not interchangeable (i.e., Exa’lence injectable must be used with Exa’lence heavy, ExaFast injectable cannot be used with Exa’lence heavy, and vice versa).
-Easy handling, excellent detail reproduction, high contrast for easy inspection of margins, accurate, excellent taste, easy removal, reasonably priced, hydrophilic.
-Overall, this material is great for multiple units and for full-arch impressions.
-Easy handling, excellent detail reproduction, high contrast for easy inspection of margins, accurate, excellent taste, extremely fast
-Overall, this material is great for single units (up to three units) and for patients who have difficulty tolerating impressions.
-I have not discovered any cons to using this material.
-This fast-set material sets extremely quickly. I consider myself to be someone who works at an average pace, and this material facilitates efficiency. Dentists who work in multiple chairs at a time or in high-volume practices will love this impression material. Dentists who practice at a slower pace may need to modify their impression technique when using the fast-set material.
I believe that I have found an excellent combination for all of my fixed prosthodontics with Exa’lence and ExaFast. Both meet all of my requirements as a prosthodontist and a business owner, and both materials have exceeded my patients’ expectations regarding comfort and taste. I highly recommend both of these impression materials!
Editor's Note: This article first appeared in Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator. Click here to subscribe. Click here to submit a products article for consideration.