In the world of dentistry there are two front-runners when it comes to impression materials, yet which one would be the best bet for our dental surgeries? The two options we have are that of the traditional Alginate type materials and the more recent PVS (polyvinyl siloxane) silicone type materials.
When taking impressions of patient’s teeth the most important factor is accuracy while other factors include ease of use, taste, and how long they take to set. Luckily both materials show strong results in each category but which one should we choose?
While both of these types of materials offer great benefits when creating dental impressions, which of them just about edges it over the other?
As you might be able to tell from the name, Alginate is connected to that of Algae. In fact the particular type of algae that we are talking about is seaweed which is where Alginate is derived from. This type of impression material is one of the most commonly used in dentistry due to it being cheap, easy to remove, having a very neutral taste, and possessing a controlled working time.
It does have some negatives however; as the impressions can become distorted due to either an excess gain of water that can make it swell or a loss of water that can lead to it shrinking. This does not happen all of the time but when it does it basically means we have to start all over again.
Polyvinyl Siloxane (PVS)
The other popular type of impression material that is commonly used in dentistry is that of Polyvinyl Siloxane which is otherwise known as PVS. This type of impression material is available in light, medium and heavy bodies and is made by a number of manufacturers who have their own range.
The benefits of PVS include being hydrophilic and thixtropic, being extremely stable while offering excellent elastic recovery, being available in different flavors, and being tear resistant. The best part about PVS is that it gives you the ability to pour at your convenience.
Both types of impression material are able to provide accurate dental impressions and there is not much to choose between the two but it does seem that PVS is the best option. Being tear resistant and not being prone to water that can distort impressions gives it the edge over the more traditional Alginate materials.
PVS offers a better level of accuracy for those reasons above and should be the material of choice for most dental surgeries that are wondering what kind of impression material to use.