Q&A with Dr. Troy Schmedding Regarding Impression Material
Digital impressions haven’t completely replaced the need for traditional impression material—not by a long shot, according to Dr. Troy Schmedding, who, in addition to having a private practice, is also a professor, lecturer and author.
Schmedding said he relies on impression material from Zest Dental Solutions for many of his more challenging restorations. He recently shared why he chooses options like Zest’s First Half VPS and First Quarter VPS.
DPS: How long have you been using First Half VPS and First Quarter VPS impression materials?
Schmedding: Four years.
DPS: What initially turned you on to them?
Schmedding: It was the price point in the beginning. Price point matching up to a quality outcome is always desirable.
In addition to being able to improve your overall outcome, First Half VPS and First Quarter VPS have a very nice price point. They’re more competitively priced than other materials.
DPS: Did you feel confident the first time you used it?
Schmedding: I think any time you’re changing materials, you’re doing so because something wasn’t working quite as well as you wanted. So whenever you try something new, you’re going in with some optimism. Then you try it out and if it’s working well over time, you can switch completely to that line. It’s kind of a slow jump.
DPS: What do you like about First Half VPS and First Quarter VPS impression materials?
Schmedding: These materials give me a lot of versatility. They have plenty of different set times and viscosities, which allow me to do some really good dentistry, from multiple-unit cases to single-unit cases, to implant-based dentistry. The overall quality and detail are key differentials.
And, the other nice thing about these materials is that they have a very nice hydrophilicity, and a low contact angle. The low contact angle facilitates better surface coverage due to the surfactants in the materials, and it allows placement of these materials in very deep sulci.
Plus, if you’re going to have a material that can go into deeper crevices and points of contact, it’s nice to have something that has a high tear strength – like these do. They can be placed in very minimal spaces with extreme accuracy and resist tearing upon removal.
DPS: With digital impressions growing in popularity, is there still room for traditional impression material?
Schmedding: Absolutely! There’s always going to be a need for both. I do both in my office. I’ve certainly cut down a lot in using traditional impression materials, but there’s always going to be a need for it.
For instance, I use traditional impression material when I’m really concerned about the depth of the sulcus or the ability of a digital impression to capture 100 percent of the area. When I use First Half VPS or First Quarter VPS, I can definitely see what I’m getting, whereas when you blow up the digital image on the screen, it can be difficult to tell if you got exactly what you needed.
DPS: What don’t most dentists realize about using traditional impression materials?
Schmedding: A lot of doctors don’t realize the tear strength is one of the most essential properties of impression material. The most important part of the restoration is down in the thinnest part of that sulcus, and you need a material that’s going to capture and hold that information in the transferring process, from removal in the mouth to the restoration being processed by your laboratory. So the tear strength’s a really big one, and that’s really why you need to utilize a quality manufacturer that’s going to deliver a good outcome for you.
Learn more about First Half VPS and First Quarter VPS impression materials here.