Dispenser Delivers High-Quality PVS Impressions And Predictable Results

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report September 2021, Volume 55, Issue 9

Catapult evaluators find improved delivery with the PowerMix™ Automatic Impression Material Dispenser.

Although digital impressions have become more commonplace in dentistry, most dentists still require a predictable and high-quality polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) impression material in their armamentarium. We all know that sometimes our technology does not cooperate, or we simply cannot get a digital impression to deliver the best results. In addition, many clinicians have not made the shift to digital scanning for impressions. At the end of the day, analog systems such as PVS impressions remain a reliable method for capturing information in the mouth when our digital systems fail us.

For that reason, reviewing and evaluating PVS options gives us opportunities to improve the accuracy of our impressions. In a recent survey following a clinical evaluation of the PowerMix Automatic Impression Material Dispenser from Clinician’s Choice®, 7 Catapult Education evaluators identified numerous advantages when using the PowerMix dispenser. When asked to choose the unit’s most desirable qualities, evaluators highlighted its ease of use (weighted average: 4.57), convenience (weighted average: 4.14), and speed of dispensing (weighted average: 4.00) as their top priorities. Because clinicians need a variety of options to resolve any challenging clinical situation, most would prefer a PVS system such as the PowerMix that has these qualities but also decreases waste and keeps overhead low.

In order to deliver high-quality patient outcomes in an efficient and productive manner, clinicians must choose materials that support the style and productivity of their practice. Catapult evaluators were provided samples of the PowerMix Automatic Impression Material Dispenser and a variety of PVS materials designed for the unit. The PowerMix is a portable PVS dispensing system that can either be used handheld or on a stand. The unit specifically uses 120-mL cartridges for dispensing as opposed to the standard 50-mL cartridges commonly associated with PVS materials. The evaluators found the larger cartridges were a significant advantage of this product over other dispensing guns and mixers, and this feature received a 100% positivity rating. The larger cartridges allowed for more dentistry to be completed before cartridges needed to be changed. The selection of 120-mL size was intentional by the manufacturer, as it aims to reduce wasted residual material in the cartridge at the end of its use and limit the number of times the cartridge must be changed. As noted before, clinicians must continue to find ways to maintain a manageable overhead while using products that improve efficiency, productivity, and predictability. The Catapult evaluators believe the PowerMix fits that description perfectly, and 100% surveyed would likely recommend this product to their colleagues.

An additional purpose of this evaluation was to garner feedback on several PVS materials offered by Clinician’s Choice for the PowerMix Automatic Impression Material Dispenser. To assess the performance of the PVS samples, each evaluator used the different options in clinical situations reflective of their normal indications. The first product reviewed was Clinician’s Choice CounterFit™ II Multi-Purpose Replication Silicone. This product is an alginate substitute material that has the benefits of low-cost, quick alginate-type impressions but includes the additional benefits of delayed and multiple pours similar to traditional PVS impressions (Figure 1). Of the evaluators surveyed, most would prefer this type of material for study models (weighted average: 5.71), opposing arch impressions (weighted average: 5.14), matrices for provisional restorations (weighted average: 4.86), bleaching trays (weighted average: 4.50), TMJ splints (weighted average: 4.00), and athletic mouth guards (weighted average: 3.00). Most of the evaluators did not feel a second pour of the material was necessary as the impressions were of a higher quality than traditional alginate impressions. When a second pour was required, it was due to needing multiple casts for a case as opposed to correcting a bad initial pour. All of the evaluators also reported an absence of pulls and drags in the material.

Clinicians were then given a second material to consider in their practice. Template® Ultra Quick Matrix Material, which is also dispensed by the PowerMix, was used for temporary crown templates, lingual matrices for anterior restorations, wax-up transfers to patients’ mouths, and temporary veneer restorations (Figure 2). Only 5 of the 7 evaluators tested Template Ultra Quick Matrix Material in their office during the evaluation period. Most notably, those evaluators highlighted excellent detail, quick set times, and accuracy as their reasons for using this product in their offices. One evaluator even stated it was the “best on the market.” Use of Template, combined with the PowerMix dispenser, led to a favorable response from the evaluators, citing its simplicity of use and the decreased incidence of voids. The lack of voids resulting in a smooth impression is critical for its use as a lingual template for anterior restorations. It is also important to note the evaluators touted the benefits of the larger cartridges in providing fast, yet economical impressions because of the larger size. Even for evaluators who are using digital scanning technologies for in-office milling of restorations, Template Ultra Quick Matrix Material provided a quick, inexpensive, and predictable way to capture a preoperative impression of the tooth in the event same-day dentistry could not be achieved.

Finally, evaluators were asked to review the Affinity™ InFlex and Heavy Body Impression Materials dispensed through the PowerMix unit. It is important to note that all of the evaluators were not currently using this product in their practice. The evaluators were surveyed on what advantages they noted by using Affinity PVS through the PowerMix unit compared with their current PVS materials. The evaluators highlighted several perceived advantages with the material, including blending of light and heavy body PVS materials (57%), improved flow (43%), rigidity (43%), and improved setting time (43%).

The survey results suggest that among those clinicians utilizing PVS materials in their practice, the PowerMix dispensing technology and associated PVS materials by Clinician’s Choice stand out as a preferred brand based on value, quality, predictability, and ease of use. In my own practice, I saw the immediate gratification of offering the PowerMix to my assistants. They loved using the unit and felt greater job satisfaction when their impressions were consistently of high quality. Even with digital impression techniques gaining traction in dentistry, clinicians need a high-quality PVS impression material in their supply closet. That is why the PowerMix by Clinician’s Choice has received the Catapult vote of confidence.