Taking the Best Impression. Top Tips from Orthodontic Therapist Pamela Gill

In this article, Pamela Gill explains how to get the best out of your impression making, with a little help from DB Orthodontics’ Create alginate - specially designed with Orthodontists in mind.

When taking impressions, always start by taking the time to ask your patient, ”Have you had impressions taken before?” They will usually let you know if it didn’t go so well, e.g., they retched.

This interaction gives you the opportunity to reassure them if they have any concerns, creating a caring environment for more anxious individuals. I personally take all my impressions whilst the patient is sat upright in the dental chair. I take the lower stood in front of the patient, and the upper whilst stood behind the patient.

Practical steps from start to finish

  1. Select the correct size tray to the last standing tooth.
  2. Explain the procedure to your patients using the “Tell –show-do technique”.
  3. Mix the material with water until it has a smooth and thick consistency. It is advised that this is cold and never tepid, otherwise, the material will set too quickly.
  4. Load the tray, removing excess material.
  5. Seat the tray in the patient’s mouth, remove excess lingually/palatally, and explain that it has a very fast setting time. It is better for the patient if the clinician takes the lower impression first because if the patient has a high gag reflex, they may gag with the upper impression.
  6. Massage the soft tissues around the tray.
  7. Use a distraction technique if needed; hopefully, you won’t need to!
  8. Talk to the patient, giving an idea of how long until material will set.
  9. Praise the patient on doing well during the impression.
  10. Once set, remove from the mouth and remove any excess material over tray extensions. Then check the impression, wash and disinfect - ready to pass on to the laboratory.

Why I choose Create

Create has a dense consistency when mixed, unlike many other alginate brands on the market. This prevents the patients from gagging during the impression procedure - giving me confidence when using on young children or dentally anxious patients. Its setting time also is very quick and therefore this reduces clinical time at the chair-side. On daily basis, patients tell me how pleasant the taste is in comparison to other alginate materials they’ve had previously.

No rejects

Laboratory technicians like the mechanical interlock Create forms with the tray without any adhesive. I rarely ever need to repeat an impression with this material due to its excellent consistency. It gives great sulcus depth in the tray for making study models - providing you have selected the correct tray size. 



Consistent, accurate and reliable

I love using DB’s Create alginate because it gives me consistent, accurate and reliable results. Impression taking with this product promotes a good experience for both you and your patients. This positive experience ultimately will give them confidence in your patient care, right from the start of their Orthodontic treatment. I would highly recommend Create, it will change your clinical practice. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked, just like me. 

    Pamela Gill

    Orthodontic Therapist Pamela Gill qualified as a dental Nurse in 1999, and gained her Diploma in Orthodontic Therapy in 2012. Based at University Dental Hospital Manchester, She was recently made an Honorary Clinical Teaching
    Fellow. She currently lectures on the Manchester Orthodontic Therapy Course in addition to her time in clinic.

     For more information, a practice visit or to buy Create, call 01535 656999, email sales@dbortho.com or visit www.dbortho.com