Improving the quality of alginate impressions for diagnostic models requires a fine-tuned technique based on specific materials. These materials are used in conjunction with clever steps that lead to a minimization of voids and bubbles.
Dr. Baggett explains his exact procedure for achieving drastically improved alginate impressions. With these recommendations, you’ll find your confidence and efficiency soaring. Impressions are one part of the treatment puzzle that must be as precise as possible to avoid problems down the road.
How to Improve Alginate Impressions for Diagnostic Models
At my practice, we still use alginate impressions as our main impression material for diagnostic models. I generally take them. A very helpful tip to improve the quality of your impressions is to use a 35 ml monoject plastic syringe (from your local dental supplier) and Ivoclar Accudent XD Pre-Sure Tip applicators (Ivoclar Reorder number 67891 Soft Flex Tips).
By placing the flexible tips on the end of the 35 ml plastic syringes, you are able to squirt excess alginate loaded into the syringe onto the teeth at a 90 degree angle starting at the distals of the second molars. You can do this instead of wiping alginate on the teeth with your fingers before you seat the alginate loaded tray.
This technique results in a lot less bubbles and minimizes the chance for voids distal to the most posterior teeth. The flexible tips are autoclavable, the monoject syringes can be cold sterilized, and petroleum jelly can be applied to the rubber plungers so they can be used again.
This tip – combined with the use of 1-inch medical tape along the posteriors of our maxillary trays as a post-dam seal – has improved the impressions taken at my practice tremendously.
What aspect of impressions do you find the most challenging and why? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!