Dental stone is a claimed gypsum derivative similar to but stronger than plaster of paris, used for making dental casts and dies. Dental stone is made from gypsum by carefully controlled calcination under steam pressure in a closed container. It is used mainly in making casts for diagnostic purposes and casts for complete and partial denture construction, which require greater strength and surface hardness than that of plaster. The stone is usually yellow, but it can be obtained in other colours. It is often referred to as alpha-hemihydrate, Type III stone, or Hydrocal.
Plaster of Paris was the first gypsum product available for dentistry. It is used mainly when strength is not a critical requirement, such as preliminary casts for complete dentures and attaching casts to a mechanical device called an articulator.
Plaster is usually white in colour and sometimes is referred to as beta-hemihydrate or Type II. In the past, plaster was modified for use as an impression material by the addition of chemicals and was called impression plaster.
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