Dental Materials for Dental Assisting Exam Study Guide (page 4)

Updated on Jun 23, 2011

Laboratory Materials

The gypsum product selected for the reproduction of dental models depends on the purpose of the model use. Dental laboratories tend to use stronger materials, while dental offices will use plaster and orthodontic stone for their purposes. There are several types of laboratory materials: plaster (model plaster), stone, and high-strength stone (die stone).

Plaster (Model Plaster)

Plaster or model plaster is used for making diagnostic casts and pouring preliminary impressions.


Stone is used when a stronger model is needed or for working models for dentures, night guards, bleaching trays, surgical stents, and so on.

High-Strength Stone (Die Stone)

High-strength stone or die stone is utilized by dental lab technicians for fabrication of cast restorations. It is the strongest stone.

Laboratory Equipment

There are several types of laboratory equipment used in a dental lab: lathe, model trimmer, vacuum former, vibrator, waxes, and tools.


A lathe is used for polishing temporary crowns or casting gold restorations. Model Trimmer A model trimmer is used for trimming models when separated from impression materials.

Vacuum Former

A vacuum former is used for the fabrication of bleach trays.


A vibrator is used to help eliminate air bubbles in freshly mixed plaster or stone.


Waxes are used for bite registration, customizing impression trays, wax rims, wax-up models, sticky wax, and so on.

Laboratory Instrumentation

Instruments used in a dental lab include lab knives, spatulas, mixing bowls, mixing pads, glass slabs, rag wheels, buffers, sand blasters, polishing discs, and so on.

Accessory Materials

In root canal therapy (RCT), the filling material placed in the canals is gutta percha, which is a type of rubber from the Palaquium gutta tree of Malaysia.

Periodontal dressings are used to cover and protect a surgical site while the tissue heals. They are supplied as a light-cured material, a eugenol-based material, and as a non-eugenol-based material.

Tooth whitening, also known as bleaching, is becoming one of the most popular ways of improving the appearance of teeth. Products are available in toothpaste, oral rinses, strips, and chewing gum for personal use. In-office materials are stronger and more effective. The main bleaching agents in in-office vital bleaching procedures are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. In the professional treatment solutions, they come in concentrations of 30 to 35%.

Practice problems for this study guide can be found at:

Dental Materials for Dental Assisting Exam Practice Problems

View Full Article
Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.
See all Worksheet Generators