[Elastomeric impression materials].

S. Levartovsky*, M. Folkman, E. Alter, R. Pilo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elastomeric impression materials are in common use. The impression taken should be highly precise, thus, requiring specific care when manipulatingthese materials. There are 4 groups of elastomers; polysulfide, condensation silicone, addition silicone and polyether; each differ in their setting mechanism and their physical and chemical properties. This review elaborates the major properties of elastomers and its implications on their use. The impression material is inserted into the patient's mouth in a viscous state and transforms into viscoelastic state, upon withdrawal, influencing the residual deformation. The requirements are minimal residual deformation or maximal elastic recovery. As the mouth is a wet environment a major consideration is hydrophilicity. The wettability which is estimated by measuring either the contact angle of a droplet of water and the substrate post setting or the contact angle of a droplet of impression material and the wet tooth pre setting, determines the interaction of the material with both mouth fluids and gypsum. As the primary end target is to obtain a model depicting accurately the oral details, an attention to the impressions' compatibility with gypsum should also be given. Many studies were conducted to get a thorough understanding of the hydrophilic properties of each material, and the mechanism utilized, such as surfactants in hydrophilic PVS. Polyether is the only material that is truly hydrophilic; it exhibits the lowest contact angle, during and after setting. Recent studies show that during setting the Polyether hydrophilicity is increased compared to the condition after setting. Dimensional stability, a crucial property of the impression, is affected by the physical and chemical attributes of the material, such as its tear strength. Polysulfide has the highest tear strength. Tear Strength is affected by two major parameters, viscosity, a built-in property, and how fast the impression is pulled out of the mouth, the faster the impression is loaded and pulled out, the higher the tear strength is. The clinical use is dictated from the properties of each impression material, and the understanding of those enables the practitioner to minimize failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-64, 75
JournalRefuat Hapeh Vehashinayim
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


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