Impression Troubleshooting: Time & Temperature

Temp Gauge2Have you turned on the heat in your office yet? If you are like us, you have switched from air conditioning to heat and back again in a 24 hour time period.  Did you know that swings in temperature have a profound effect on your impression material?

PVS impression materials are designed to work at 72°F. Operatory room air temperature and material storage temperature affects the working and setting times.

For every degree warmer than 72°F.

Material loses 3-5 seconds in working and setting times.

  • Causes incomplete capture of prep, sulcus, opposing dentition, and/or undefinable margins.
  • Possible results include missed or short margins, air bubbles, tight fitting crowns, and tight DSC_4243contacts.

For every degree colder than 72°F

Material needs additional 3-5 seconds in working and setting times.

  • Causes heavy and/or light body not to fully cure.
  • Possible results include pulls that lead to missed or short margins, elongation of the prep, and ill-fitting crowns.

Keep materials in a temperature-controlled environment.

Keep a temperature gauge with material before use:

If above 72°F, subtract 3-5 seconds per degree for working and setting times.

If below 72°F, add 3-5 seconds per degree to allow full curing.

Need a temperature gauge? Send us an email at and we will send you a DPS thermometer like the one shown above. (One to an office please.)

Get more tips from 3M’s Impression Troubleshooting Guide.

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