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encyclopedia of dentistry and dental terms

Glossary

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Term or expression

IMPRESSION MATERIAL

A material (such as rubber, silicon, hydrocolloid, or alginate) that is placed in special containers, called impression trays, to make molds of patientís teeth and gums. When placed in the mouth, the material is liquid enough to flow into the grooves in teeth and the tiny spaces between the teeth. In a very short time, the material becomes firm enough to hold its shape when removed from the mouth. A special type of plaster called dental stone is poured into the mold to make a precise replica of the patientís teeth that the dentist can use to make appliances or to study in the process of treatment planning.




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