One of the most common restorative procedures in a general dental practice is the single unit crown. Within the procedure workflow of most crowns is the fabrication of a provisional crown.
The provisional crown is critical to provide protection of the prepared tooth, allow the patient to be able to function on the prepared tooth, provide esthetic temporary replacement of the tooth, and to maintain the interproximal and occlusal integrity while the final crown is being fabricated. The provisional crown is an important part of the final success of the crown procedure.

As this is one of the most common procedures in general dentistry it is important that the dental team is efficient in its workflow. Efficiency not only increases productivity, it will also increase patient comfort and satisfaction.

In the spring of 2019 members of Catapult Education were asked to evaluate the Matrix Buttons by Advantage Dental Products, Inc. The primary indication for the Matrix Buttons is for use as a pre-operative matrix for the fabrication of a provisional crown or bridge. Sixteen members of the evaluation team tested the Matrix Buttons in their practices for 4-8 weeks. During that time 78 provisional crowns and five provisional bridges were placed.

The Catapult Education members were asked to evaluate the clinical performance of the Matrix Buttons as well as to consider the economics of including the product into their practices.

The Matrix Buttons is a thermoplastic “button” that when placed in hot water will become pliable and adaptable to the tooth/arch form that is being treated.

Most of our evaluators used hot water from the tap that was then placed in a microwave (for 30-60 seconds), a few others used a traditional hot water bath that was already in the operatory.

Once heated the Matrix Buttons will become clear. This is the indication that it is ready to be placed in the mouth and adapted. Half of our evaluators did this adaptation themselves, the other half designated it to their dental assistants. Threefourths (75 percent) of our evaluators
felt that they (or their assistants) were able to easily establish a good pre-operative record. Our evaluators were split on whether or not this part of the procedure saved time, and 63 percent acknowledged that there was a “learning curve” to using the material. Once this short learning
curve is achieved, the placement and fabrication of the matrix can be easy and simple. One “trick” that has proven to be effective is to wet the fingertips of the operator’s glove before handling the Matrix Buttons. If the glove is dry the material can be sticky on the glove.

The Matrix Buttons were used with a variety of different temporary materials. Four different types of temporary material were used by our team. All four materials worked well with the Matrix Buttons matrix. A large majority reported they were able to establish good margins, contacts, and occlusion when including the Advantage Dental Products’ solution as part of their technique.

Matrix Buttons Fig 1-7

[Figs. 1-7] The Matrix Buttons thermoplastic “button” as it is from the bag (Fig. 1).
The button is removed from a cup of hot water or water
bath (Fig. 2).
Adapted to the tooth to be prepared for a crown (Fig. 3).

The final matrix can be fabricated in just a few minutes (Fig. 4).
a temporary material of choice, the provisional crown is created within the Matrix Buttons matrix (Fig. 5).
The provisional crown before finishing
and polishing (Fig. 6).
The provisional crown ready to be cemented
to place (Fig. 7).


As a group, our evaluators did not generally see a time savings using the Matrix Buttons as part of their workflow, but also noted that it did not add time. A majority did say that they felt inclusion of the product in their workflow would save them money.

Lastly, our evaluation team did note that they could see the Matrix Buttons as having other clinical applications. Two of our evaluators that do a lot of sleep apnea appliances noted that the Matrix Buttons would be an excellent material to use for a morning mandibular positioning
appliance. Another evaluator used the Matrix Buttons as a transitional bruxism device (similar to an NTI™). It was noted by our team that there could be a number of other clinical applications for the material.

Overall, 80 percent of our evaluators stated that they would recommend the Matrix Buttons to a colleague. Based on our team’s clinical evaluation the Matrix Buttons were given the “Catapult Vote of Confidence”.

See Matrix Buttons featured in Dental Products Report.

To learn more about Matrix Buttons visit