Impression materials come in all shapes and sizes, or more accurately different viscosity and set times. For years I was in search of the perfect material that would do everything I need in my office. With this approach I was often frustrated when using fast set by the feeling I had to rush, or the feeling of wasted time using slow set as I watched the clock tick down until I could check the impression. Recently I decided to match the impression material to the clinical procedure and minimize some of these frustrations.
If I am preparing a small number of teeth for indirect restorations, capturing the final impression with a triple tray or a full arch, then a fast set VPS combination of tray and syringe material is ideal. I do not need the luxury of a long working time, and for my patient’s comfort I want the impression out of their mouth in as brief a time as possible. When I am preparing multiple teeth I need enough working time to syringe the light body material and accurately capture all of the margins, and a regular set material is preferable. I have my assistant inform me when she has the tray half full, and I begin removing cord and placing the syringe material. The longer working times allows me not to feel rushed, and increases the likelihood of an accurate impression the first time.
Make sure not to mix and match the set times, using fast set syringe with fast set tray and the same for regular. Recently I have been using the Flexitime Xtreme fast set material. It has a great berry flavor and smell, and trying to figure out the exact taste keeps patients busy for the short duration it needs to set.