Direct from the Operatory: Tuff-Temp Plus

by Robert A. Lowe, DDS

In the clinical environment, an artistically contoured and well-marginated provisional restoration nurtures the gingival tissues with proper marginal seal and emergence profiles during the interim phase of treatment. A provisional matrix can be fabricated from the pre-operative stone model /  composite mock up using a clear plastic stent material and a thermoplastic suck down device. After the teeth are prepared (Figure 1), Tuff-Temp Plus is dispensed into a matrix and placed on the prepared teeth for approximately two minutes.  Once the Tuff-Temp Plus provisional shell is recovered from the matrix, a sharp lead pencil is used to delineate margins and the contact zones proximally, so they are not accidentally damaged during the trimming process. 

Figure 1. Teeth are prepared for provisional material

Specially selected instrumentation is utilized to artistically carve the morphologic tooth replicas (Figure 2). 

Figure 2. Instrumentation is used to carve morphologic tooth replicas

An ultra thin, safe-sided diamond is used to make the initial cut between units as the gingival embrasures are developed and later to delineate separation between units developing facial and lingual embrasure form (for multi-unit provisional restorations).  An impregnated composite polishing brush or medium grade pumice on a chamois wheel is then used to polish the finished restoration.  A final luster is achieved using a small, dry muslin wheel.  Finally, Tuff-Temp glaze is painted on the surface of the restoration with a fine sable brush, and then light cured. This glaze is also included with Tuff-Temp Plus Provisional material as is the add-on flowable material (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Tuff-Temp Plus Add-On flowable material is applied as needed

Figure 4 shows the final provisional restoration.

Figure 4. Final provisional restoration


About Robert A. Lowe, DDS
Robert A. Lowe, DDS, received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Loyola University School of Dentistry. After completing his residency, Dr. Lowe went into private practice and began to pursue another passion: clinical teaching. While running his own practice, Dr. Lowe served as a Clinical Professor in Restorative Dentistry at Loyola University School of Dentistry until its closure in 1993. In 2000, he relocated to Charlotte, NC.