Retention strength of impression materials to a tray material using different adhesive methods: An in vitro study

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Statement of problem.

A new self-stick adhesive system has been purported to eliminate the need to use chemical adhesives with plastic impression trays; however, no testing has confirmed the claim.


The purpose of this study was to compare the in vitro retentive strength of impression materials to plastic substrates having conventional adhesive (CA) or the self-stick adhesive system, with and without mechanical retention.

Material and methods.

Three types of impression materials (irreversible hydrocolloid (IH), vinyl polysiloxane (VPS), and polyether (PE)) were applied to polystyrene disc-shaped surfaces (33.68 cm2) that were held on the arms of a universal testing machine. The appropriate CA or the self-stick adhesive system (Self-Stick Dots) (SSD) was applied to the plates, which had either no mechanical retention, or equally spaced mechanical perforations (n=4). An in vivo pilot test determined the appropriate rate of plate separation. Plates with impression material were lowered to provide 4 mm of space, the material set, and plates were separated using the appropriate speed. Force at first separation was divided by plate area (peak stress). Five replications per test condition were made, and results were analyzed using ANOVA and Bonferroni-adjusted t tests (α=.05).


Within each impression material/test combination, stress using SSD was significantly lower than CA (P<.05). Mechanical retention did not always provide significantly greater strength. The combination of mechanical retention and CA yielded the highest strength within each material type, except for PE, for which nonmechanical and CA strength did not differ from that of mechanical and CA.


Use of the self-stick adhesive system provided significantly lower retentive strength to plastic tray material than chemical adhesives for irreversible hydrocolloid, vinyl polysiloxane, and polyether. (J Prosthet Dent 2008;100:432-440)

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