AlginateIf you do removable prosthodontics, there are many times that impressions of teeth and ridges need to be made with teeth that will ultimately be extracted. If you were trained as I was to make an immediate denture by staging posterior teeth removal first and then anterior teeth removal the day of the denture insertion, your “final” impression will include the anterior teeth. Typically there is mobility, spacing and interproximal defects with these teeth and there is always the worry that the impression material will engage and lock in.

When this happens, the impression cannot be removed without potentially extracting the remaining teeth. That’s a bad day in the office! I have found that the best blockout material is to use alginate and either syringe in with a monojet syringe or just use your finger to swipe it into these spaces. I will do it from the buccal and the lingual, wipe any excess off the facials and let it set. It helps to stabilize any mobility and ease my worry that the teeth will come out in the final impression. The removal of the alginate is just as easy.

I have tried many blockout materials over the years but routinely go to this as it is easy to apply, doesn’t move once set and easy to remove. Give this a try next time your internal antenna goes up with a tooth at risk for removal during a vps impression.

Mary Anne Salcetti, DDS, PC, Spear Visiting Faculty