The use of alginate impression materials today is prevalent because of its efficiency and simplicity in clinical settings. Unfortunately, the simplicity of the procedure tends to lull the dentist into a sense of well-being, and lead him into using careless or sloppy technique. Alginate impression materials are used to fabricate diagnostic and preliminary casts, and the final cast. Incorrect use of this material is known to affect the accuracy of the final prosthesis. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of different mixing methods of alginate impression material and tray adhesive on the accuracy of the stone cast produced by each method. A total of 30 stone casts were produced by using 3 different types of mixing methods (10 stone cast for each mixing method, respectively). The first method utilized an automatic-mixing machine to mix alginate while the second method was carried out manually, strictly following manufacturer's instructions. The third method also involved manual mixing, but did not follow the manufacturer's instructions and was done in a random fashion. Also, 20 additional stone casts were produced by using alginate with or without tray adhesives were included in the study to evaluate effects of tray adhesives on the accuracy of alginate impression. 10 stone casts were produced by adding tray adhesives to the interior surface of the impression tray prior to taking the impression. The other 10 excluded this step. A total of 50 stone casts were analyzed by the three-dimensional measuring machine to measure and compare the dimensional changes of the impression material of each group. The results are as follows. 1. No significant difference was found between the automatic mixing group and the manually-mixing group(p>0.05). 2. For the group that followed manufacturer's instructions, less dimensional changes were record ed than the group that didn't in measuring distanced 4(p<0.05). 3. The group that used tray adhesives showed less dimensional changes(p<0.05). The findings revealed that mechanical methods of mixing alginate impression materials had little influence on dimensional changes. However, it is proven that following manufacturers instructions in alginate impression taking is an important step in acquiring accurate impressions and tray adhesives may play an important role in enhancing the results.
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