Did you know that instant silicone material is available for your convenience? Instant silicone products are designed for making custom earmolds, swim plugs, and/or noise protectors in-house, eliminating the need to send impressions to an earmold manufacturer. These products are extremely convenient in a variety of situations including offering patients a relatively inexpensive, custom noise protector option beyond traditional foam or thermoplastic earplugs, providing instant swim plugs for the pediatric population who may need these types of items replaced often, or as a staple when traveling abroad on humanitarian missions when resources and access to traditional forms of audiology-care will be significantly limited.
A popular product worth learning about is Insta-Mold which is available in two basic forms: 1) Insta-Mold II Silicone, and 2) Insta-Mold Featherweight Silicone. Both products enable the clinician to make custom products on-the-spot with essentially two major differences. First, Insta-Mold II Silicone is a tub & accelerator system comprised of a relatively large tub (or tubs) of base and a smaller bottle-sized amount of hardener paste whereas Insta-Mold Featherweight Silicone is an equal component system packaged in two equal tubs of base & accelerator. As such, measurement and preparation of the two types of Insta-Mold materials will inherently involve different preparation directions. Second, Insta-Mold Featherweight Silicone is formulated with special lightweight reinforcing properties that makes the material floatable; Insta-Mold II Silicone is not floatable. From this perspective, the Insta-Mold Featherweight material may be more ideal for making swim plugs although either product can be used to make custom earmolds, noise protectors or swim plugs. Furthermore, both materials are available in a variety of colors and kits that include tools and accessories specifically geared toward making ear protection or swim plugs versus custom earmolds. Keep this and other instant silicone products in mind for your practice convenience!