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Polyether impression materials have been used in dentistry for more than 40 years. Allergic reactions to these materials such as reported in the 1970s ceased after replacement of a catalyst. Very recently, however, patients have started to report symptoms that suggest a new allergic reaction from polyether impression materials. Here, we report on the results of allergy testing with polyether impression materials as well as with its components. Eight patients with clinical symptoms of a contact allergy (swelling, redness or blisters) after exposure to a polyether impression material were subjected to patch tests, two of them additionally to a prick test. A further patient with atypical symptoms of an allergy (nausea and vomiting after contact with a polyether impression material in the oral cavity) but with a history of other allergic reaction was also patch tested. The prick tests showed no immediate reactions in the two patients tested. In the patch tests, all eight patients with typical clinical symptoms showed positive reactions to the mixed polyether impression materials, to the base paste or to a base paste component. The patient with the atypical clinical symptoms did not show any positive patch test reactions. Polyether impression materials may evoke type IV allergic reactions. The causative agent was a component of the base paste. In consideration of the widespread use of this impression material (millions of applications per year) and in comparison to the number of adverse reactions from other dental materials, the number of such allergic reactions is very low. In very scarce cases, positive allergic reactions to polyether impression materials are possible.


Pauline Mittermüller, Rolf-Markus Szeimies, Michael Landthaler, Gottfried Schmalz. A rare allergy to a polyether dental impression material. Clinical oral investigations. 2012 Aug;16(4):1111-6

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PMID: 21947905

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