A Cost-Effective Alternative to Alginate Impression Material
Shannon Pace Brinker, CDA, on Xantasil®
For many years, alginate impression material has been a staple of most dental practices. Despite its shortcomings, it does have some good qualities, including quick set times, mild flavors, and low cost. But it also has considerable downsides, such as poor dimensional stability, messiness, repetitive hand mixing, and above all, a lot of wasted time.
Although alginate impression materials are still favored in some dental practices, more and more, they are being replaced by polyvinyl materials. Alginate is relatively inexpensive, but its hydrophilic properties make it challenging to utilize. VPS material may cost slightly more, but that does not offset the gains in efficiency and time. An impression made from VPS material can endure numerous pours for however many models are necessary, whereas an impression made from an alginate material can only produce one model that will need to be duplicated with a special material, if necessary.
Recently, Kulzer released Xantasil®, a cost-effective, reliable alternative to alginate impression material. Xantasil is a high-quality material that delivers exceptional accuracy and performance at a favorable price point. It is simple to use and saves the practice incalculable amounts of time, relieving stress and providing the opportunity to see more patients. From our experience, we've found that this material saves 10 to 15 minutes each time you take an impression. Using this material is less time-consuming because it does not necessitate the number of retakes, amount of cleanup, and degree of mixing as basic alginate. Fewer retakes benefits the practice and the patient.
It's truly cost-effective, and the savings really add up when you consider that material costs run just under 5% of a practice's total overhead, and you can work awfully hard to cut another 1% from that. On the other hand, staff costs run more in the neighborhood of 25%, so the additional time saved by using this type of material ultimately saves money.
Xantasil can be utilized for so many areas and is ideal for study models, registration or opposing dentition, provisional crown-and-bridge, orthodontic models, sport mouth guards, bleaching trays, and preliminary impressions.
One of the best qualities of Xantasil is the delivery system. It is premixed to ensure a precise ratio of components, so dental assistants don't have to spend time attempting to create a workable mixture or cleaning up mess left behind from the mixing process. There isn't a dental assistant on the planet who would want to go back to mixing alginate impression material after utilizing Xantasil.
• Original impressions can be used to make replacement provisional restorations in minutes
• Requires fewer retakes, which saves money for the practice and makes the patient happy
• Takes 10- to 15-minutes less than an alginate impression material for each impression
• Comes premixed, thereby ensuring a precise ratio of components in the volume mixer or cartridge
Shannon Pace Brinker, CDA
Academy of Chairside Assisting
Virginia Beach, Virginia