We learned a valuable lesson in the office today, that was humorous and serious all at the same time. We were getting ready to take a final impression for an onlay I had just finished preparing and my assistant was setting out the impression materials as I finished placing cord. I asked her to get out the fast set Flexitime Extreme, as we would be using a triple tray, and for one tooth I don’t need the extended working time of the regular set. I watched as she took the material I requested out of a cabinet and began putting a new mixing tip on the tube. It caught my attention that the old tip had a pink hub, and the new one she was putting on had a turquoise hub. Asking her about the difference she held then side by side, and commented they looked different inside as well.
Now she had my attention. As I examined them, sure enough the diameter of the tip was slightly different,as was the interior plastic which mixed the material as it was extruded. Neither of us knew which mixing tip actually belonged with the impression material, but it was obvious we should find out. Fortunately for us, as we worked to figure it out, we realized that the impression material had a picture of the correct mixing tip on the tube. Since then I have been on a quest to figure this out. Turns out that the color of the hub denoted a diameter of the tip. Different materials are designed to be mixed and expressed through a specific diameter tip. Using one other than what the manufacturer suggests will alter the mix of the material, the handling properties, possibly the set time and the performance of the material.
So on to the web I went, and researched the materials in our office to find out which diameter tip the manufacturers recommend. From now on we will know which tips we need to use for which materials in our office.