While we’re moving towards a digital environment, I am of the belief that we will always live in an analog world. My belief, based on my understanding of where we are in 2018, is that there is still a place for high-quality impression materials, even though more and more dentists are moving over to digital.
As one of my colleagues once said, “Impression digitally, verify analog.” That is so true. Even people who are doing the largest full-arch implant cases will verify using a medium such as a polyether or polyvinylsiloxane. There’s something nice and comfortable about holding a very well-taken impression in your hand. Who knows? Maybe analog impressions are going to make a comeback one day, like vinyl records.
In my own practice I use a combination of both digital and analog impressions. Maybe 80% of my practice is digital, and 20% is Kettenbach mpression materials. This is the manufacturer I want to use because I have so much confidence in their materials.
I was never comfortable with polyvinylsiloxane because I was never comfortable with the quality of the impression. There was always one spot somewhere, especially on multiple-unit cases. I’d have to go back and re-impression, and I don’t want to do that. It’s uncomfortable for the patient, it’s time-consuming, and it’s costly to keep laying out all this material. Because of that, I would use polyethers. However, I don’t have these problems with Kettenbach’s polyvinylsiloxane—it’s one and done. That’s saying something because if I’m taking one impression instead of 3, I’m saving 4 to 5 minutes each time I load up the tray and more time cleaning up the patient.
From my experience, Panasil by Kettenbach is one of the best impression materials I’ve ever seen. Although most companies will tell you that they make hydrophilic material, Kettenbach’s polyvinylsiloxane truly handles like a polyether, more so than other materials I’ve used. I don’t see the issues with folding and suck back and other phenomena that occur in the presence of a little bit of moisture. That, to me, is the best thing a practicing dentist can ask for in an impression material because we work in a very wet environment. Kettenbach offers materials of a very high-quality nature that don’t fight us and that actually work with us to come up with incredibly detailed analog impressions.
In my practice, we use Panasil tray Soft Heavy Fast in combination with Panasil initial contact Light secondary material, in a double-mix impression technique. It’s “unreal” how accurate this material is. It has 4-minute working time, from turning the machine on to turning it off, which is nice and quick.
Here are 3 other Kettenbach products I gravitate towards in my practice:
Silginat – I use this material for preliminary impressions and to form a matrix prior to making a provisional crown. This is a wonderful material and has a relatively quick working time of 3 minutes. It’s extremely stable and very easy to use because it’s extremely flexible. It doesn’t lock in the mouth. Patients are not offended by the strawberry flavor, and it doesn’t run. It is a very solid material.
Visalys Temp– This temporary crown-and-bridge material has a little bit of give to it, so it doesn’t break easily, which has been a problem with these types of soft materials in the past. Most of these automix materials fracture very easily. Visalys Temp is fracture resistant, and I’m a very big fan of the product.
Futar– I’ve just started using this recently introduced bite registration material. What I like so far is that the hard version of the material offers no bounce, which has generally been my problem with using polyvinylsiloxane as a bite registration material. The extra hard Futar is accurate with less bounce as compared to some of the softer bite registration materials which are, from my view, inadequate because they induce discrepancies in the registration.
Clinical Tip for Taking High-Quality Impressions
Follow the steps. Make sure your preparations are clean, you don’t have undercuts, you can clearly see the margins, and your retraction is good, and do your best for moisture control. The rest will happen on its own. No material is going to compensate for a lack of a good preparation or good retraction or lack of moisture control; that’s on the operator. However, if you can meet those basic parameters, Kettenbach is the stuff!
About Louis F. DeSantis, DDS, FACP
Dr. DeSantis is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontists with more than 30 years of dental and prosthodontic experience. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the New York University College of Dentistry, Department of Post Graduate Prosthodontics. His other fellowships include The International College of Dentists, The American College of Dentists, The Greater New York Academy of Prosthodontics, and The American College of Prosthodontists. Dr. DeSantis has maintained a private practice in Staten Island, New York, since 1984.