This is one of the participants at Advanced Restorative Design loading a copyplast matrix for a temporary.

Are you a copyplast temporary maker or a silicone temporary maker? I know dentists who swear by one or the other. It's much like the direct temporary / indirect temporary argument; people have strong feelings. I've always believed that the more tools you have, the better.

Copyplast is clear, and permits a complete view when seating in the mouth or on a model. Silicone is much more rigid and has less potential for distortion when seating. Copyplast will let you add characterization with light cure composites, because you can reposition the matrix after adding material, and then you can light cure through it. We teach both methods in the course.

If you don't make temporaries, but delegate that responsibility to a team member, you will soon have the opportunity to have her (or him) spend some time with us learning to work with both matrices, as well as direct and indirect fabrication at the assistant course. (The course is currently in our heads (mine and Lee's) and I'd love to hear from you with ideas for what should be covered if you would be interested in sending your assistant to spend time with us.

Other topics that we thought would help your team support you at an even higher level than they do now are: photography, photo management, impressions, pouring and trimming models, mounting models, simple wax-ups, and creation of the copyplast and silicone matrices.

We also believe it helps team members talk with patients when they understand the way the doctor thinks about diagnosis and making patients aware of findings, so we would plan to coach them in those areas too. If you would be interested in having your team member attend something like this I would love to hear from you. Email me at or just comment following this post.



Commenter's Profile Image Arnie Mirza
January 16th, 2011
It is a good idea.I am interested in educating my dental assistants, specially photography, pouring impressions and mounting models.
Commenter's Profile Image Susan Spoto
January 19th, 2011
Gary, thanks as always for a great posting. I just sat down with my assistants to discuss where I can help them grow this year. Spent sometime last night looking for where we can take some classes for this-- will hold off to hear more about your plans. It would be helpful for them to refine their skills in fabricating provisionals, digital photography,obtaining,pouring and finishing/grooming of diagnostic casts and possibly facebows-- it would help to give them more knowledge as to why a level of excellance is so important to the overall "case". It would also be helpful for them to learn some verbal tools for them to help educate patients as to WHY some things we do are necessary. We are actually going to have team training day so that we can all develop our verbal skills in communicating with our patients (staff asked if we could have this training day)- so that they are all on the same page and so that they can educate our patients with confidence. I was surprised as to how important this was to them and how they felt it was key to our practice!