What to consider when selecting a polyether impression material

May 22, 2012

By Ellen Neuenfeldt, RDH, BS

Polyether impression materials continue to be a popular choice for dental professionals looking to produce an efficient, accurate and dependable impression. The material’s ability to create precise replications of tooth margins and details while also exhibiting good tear strength are just a few of the reasons why it is invaluable to the dental practice.

Click here to view the DentistryIQ.com Buyer's Guide on polyether impression materials

When selecting a final impression material and deciding if a polyether material is right for the clinical situation at hand, it is important to keep in mind the following material properties:

1. Hydrophilicity – It is the polyether impression materials’ natural hydrophilic properties that are responsible for creating such excellent detail reproductions in wet environments. The physical composition makes polyether materials such as 3M ESPE Impregum Soft Polyether Impression Material favorable for moist environments throughout the entire process – from mixing to setting. Additionally, using a hydrophilic material relieves any stress of constantly eliminating moisture in the mouth when trying to create a void-free impression.

2. Flowability – Polyether impression material exhibits substantial structural viscosity, a property crucial for creating comprehensive impressions of the entire surface area. The flowability of polyether impression material allows it to reach deep into the sulcus to capture the fine detail needed for a properly fitted crown and restoration. The ability to flow into critical areas without a large amount of external force is what gives polyether ideal handling characteristics.

3. Delivery method – Polyether impression materials can be delivered in a variety of ways, including automatic mixing systems such as the 3M ESPE Pentamix 3 Automatic Mixing Unit or from a hand-dispensed cartridge mixing system. One new delivery system compatible with polyether material is the Impregum 3 Intra-oral syringes from 3M ESPE. The small size and ergonomic design of these single-use syringes allow dental professionals to access hard-to-reach areas and reduce product waste. The great variety of delivery formats compatible with polyether impression material allows the material to be used by any dental professional, accommodating a range of personal preferences.

When deciding between a polyether impression material and a VPS impression material, it is vital to consider the importance of these key characteristics.

Click here to view the DentistryIQ.com Buyer's Guide on polyether impression materials