What You Need to Know About Ceramics 2017, Part 1



Have you ever been up late at night concerned about your future and financial security? I have, and I truly feel for you as I have been there…. I would love to share just one opportunity a dental lab can use to stay on top. It’s really easy, you just need the correct information.

In past decades we have been able to move from one product to another within a category and obtain some small incremental advancement. This may have been cost, handling caricaturists and/or esthetics. For instance, so many of us changed our metal ceramic systems and even changed our source for alloys. Again, just a small incremental change. Today, zirconia is changing at an exponential pace. Since the inception of Lava, there have six major advancements in this market. Five in the last six years. These changes taking place now are not just incremental but rather potentially industry changing.

To maintain your position in the market and grow your laboratory, there are currently two companies, Amann Girrbach and Noritake, that have developed zirconia improvements so big you must consider the impact of adding or replacing this part of your product line. These zirconias are multi-layered discs that have incredible lifelike esthetics. This is the best path to providing significantly improved esthetics in a monolithic restoration. What is most amazing is all you need to do is mill a different disc. Here is the product I have found that will close the gap for highly esthetic monolithic restoration:

  • Amann Girrbach Zolid FX Multi. This is in the super translucent, 600 MPa flexural strength category. Please note all Zolid zirconia discs can be sintered in under 3 hours.
  • From Noritake, Katana HT, of the 1200 MPA high trans family.
  • Also Katana UTML, 560 MPA multi-layered disc.

What these pre-shaded discs have in common is a multiple layering of color technology built into each disc with a blended zone between colors or layer, which is quite similar to natural dentition. Below is a photo of the Zolid FX Multi from AG. This case was designed in 3Shape, milled on a Roland mill, sintered, stained and glazed. It’s amazing how far we have come in such a short time.



Best business practice for laboratory success should include the use of these materials for monolithic restorations. Frankly, it’s never been easier to improve the quality of your work. Not embracing this next generation zirconia will leave you behind.

I highly recommend UTML or Zolid FX (keep in mind 2 hour sintering capabilities for Zolid). I prefer the Zolid, other reputable market leaders prefer the UTML. For second molars and small to medium bridges, you should consider Katana HT. This material has more than adequate strength for most bridges. For large bridges that require CAM operators to tilt the file within the disc for best insertion path for milling, I would suggest a white HT disc with hand coloring the green state milled restoration.

Perhaps the best thing about this new generation of zirconia discs is almost no learning curve. Simply change the disc you use and you have noticeably improved your product.

Sleep well and share this with a friend.

Thanks for reading.

Back to All Posts