High quality model work not only looks great, it's an important part of fabricating functional restorations. Model production is one of the first steps of the restorative process for the dental laboratory and producing accurate models provides a strong foundation to build upon. This is why it is important to make sure that the the proper amount of attention is given to the model work and that it is not simply delegated to the employee with the least amount of experience.
Making sure your lab is able to produce the best possible models requires the use of the proper techniques, materials and equipment. Without these things your results may suffer, so here are some important points to keep in mind.
When choosing a die stone start by narrowing down whether you need a Type IV low expansion or Type V high expansion die stone, or possibly both. Sometimes this is dictated by the type of impression material and other times it is based on the laboratory's working procedures. If you thinking of switching die stones be aware that moving from Type IV to Type V (or Type V to Type IV) can dramatically change the fit of the finished restoration. Most companies offer samples, so try them out and see what works best in your environment.
We've said it for many years and it still holds true to this day: The vacuum mixer is one of the most important pieces of equipment in the laboratory. Make sure your equipment is in good operating condition and always use your vacuum mixer to mix die stones. And when you are measuring your stone be sure to use a proper scale and measure your liquid accurately using our Graduated Cylinders.
While die stones have evolved over the years and the quality has increased there is no substitute for using a proper debubblizer/surfactant solution. A well formulated product such as HydroSmooth allows for easier pouring and eliminates bubbles in the model without negatively reacting with the gypsum. Impression materials by nature are hydrophobic and they repel the gypsum mixture similar to the way a drop of water beads up on a freshly waxed car. The surface tensions of the impression push the material away and cause voids in the model. HydroSmooth works by reducing the surface tensions and allows the gypsum to freely flow into even the thinnest parts of the impression. This results in a model that is dense, free from bubbles and much more accurate.
It's important to have a pin system you can rely on and the benefits double pin systems, like our BK-Medent Double Pins, have be well documented over the years. They are easier to work with and quicker to use, but they also provide an accurate and solid foundation. But not all pin systems are created equal so be aware of cheap, low quality pins. The substandard manufacturing processes and inferior materials used to fabricate these cheap pins can result in flaws and inconsistencies. With BK-Medent Double Pins you get an affordable product without sacrifycing quality.
While hand saws and handpiece mounted diamond discs might be able to get the job done, the Schick G2 Model Saw gets the job done faster, safer and delivers unequaled results. The Schick G2 delivers sectioned models with extremely smooth and straight die walls, all without damaging the margins. When a client sees a labs model work they are essentially holding their business card, and the first impression is the one that lasts. Model work can be sectioned substantially faster with the G2 fabricated and it not only looks professional, but is highly functional. No matter what size your lab is these are all things you can benefit from.
Protecting the model work
After all of the work done and steps taken to produce your models one of the most crucial steps is to make sure they are protected. The working model will be handled throughout the entire restorative process, and moved from department to department. With all of that wear and tear taking place this is where a product like ProLine Model + Die Conditioner becomes extremely useful. ProLine Model + Die Conditioner is liquid armor that works from the inside out and allows technicians to add the necessary protection without adding a dimensional changing layer of material. This helps protect delicate parts, delivering better accuracy and marginal fit.
Before you are ready to start building your restoration one of the final steps is to make sure you apply the correct amount and type of die spacer. This can be the difference between a crown that fits, or one that is too tight or too loose. Beyond preference of color, choosing the spacer with the proper thickness is of the utmost importance. For example, our ProLine Die Spacer in gold and silver colors offer 6 microns of thickness per coat and our blue, red, yellow and clear colors deliver 12 microns of thickness per coat. The required amount of relief can vary depending on a long list of reasons, including a specific dentist's preference, the type of restoration and the process used to fabricate the restoration.
The process of producing high quality model work is full of important steps. When these steps are completed using the right techniques and the right materials, along with the correct tools, the result will be an accurate, solid foundation on which to build amazing dental restorations.