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By Dr. Todd Pickle

I am sure you have never had a situation where two or more implants are either too close together or angled into each other to the point that you cannot get the metal impression copings on at the same time.  But if this ever does happen, I have found the best thing to do is use a plastic version of the impression coping if your implant company makes one, which many do.  This will allow you to cut the copings so that they all fit and you can pick them up in one closed-tray impression. 

Plastic impression copings are single-use anyway, whereas metal copings that you have to cut are usually not usable again.  They are not accurate enough for multi-use and the plastic components deform during use beyond their elastic ability to accurately be used again.  But if you cannot find a plastic version of the impression coping, you should try to find a plastic TEMPORARY coping.  These can be customized with resin ‘blobs’ so that they will pick-up in the impression and serve the same purpose. 

Make sure you decide if you need engaging or non-engaging copings before you make the impression.  Some companies call these parts “bridge copings”.  Only single unit crowns need engaging copings, so stick with non-engaging components for everything else, including impressions.   

Use this tip to make a good impression!