Zirconia, Sintered in Just 2 Hours


Through recent technological advancement it is now viable to sinter both high-strength and super-translucent zirconias in a very short two hour sintering cycle. The introduction is the result of a combined initiative, investment, and R&D by two well-known, high-quality companies: Dekema and Dental Direkt.

This advancement comes with obvious advantages for labs. A two hour cycle enables a more efficient small bath workflow and reduces manufacturing cycles. It also can be used to reduce turnaround times to make us more competitive. I believe this to be the NEXT BIG change in zirconia crown fabrication.

New Tech Enables Fast Sintering and Cooling

For a start, Dekema, of Germany, known for providing the best quality furnaces available, has turned the corner and developed a heating element that holds up to fast cooling. These SiC heating elements are now capable of fast cooling for about 500 cycles. The Dekema Austromat sintering furnace models 664 and 674 are fitted with digital intelligence hardware and software. Having this in a sintering furnace makes troubleshooting easy and enables furnace operation from any smartphone or PC. It tracks and stores all programs and records voltage peaks and drops which provide diagnostic information if and as needed. Also needed, temperature repeatedly and  a unique thermocouple design that enables real time temperature control, no delal. Lastly, these fully programmable furnaces can also be programmed and used for any existing longer cycle and can store up to 200 programs.

Austromat Offers Options and Flexibility

Both the Austromat 674 and Austromat 664  come with an extra set of heating elements and a spare thermocouple. These parts are user-changeable as needed. The larger 674 has a capacity of about 80 units with the slower sintering cycle using two trays. When sintering for speed, only one tray is recommended resulting in smaller batch sintering. The smaller, less expensive 664 has about half the capacity of the larger unit.

Key Zirconias Tested, Optimized, and Ready for 2-hour Sintering

The other contributor, Dental Direkt also of Germany worked in unison with the Dekema team in the development of this technology breakthrough. As a team they now have finalized sintering cycles for both cubeX² super-translucent zirconia and CAP Z-Complete high-strength, high-translucent materials. What is also nice, both products can be sintered in the same cycle and tray simultaneously. On another note, both materials can be green-state colored using the same Dental Direkt coloring kit.

The restoration photo are cubeX². The photo setup was done with backlighting and a filter to eliminate the glaze. The results show a near exact duplication in the translucency and chroma of CubeX2 using an 8 hour sintering cycle for the sample on the left as compared to the new 2 hour cycle on the right. The comparative results are amazingly close to identical.

A big thanks to both Dekema and Dental Direkt for helping dental technology take it to the next level. Learn more about the 664 and 674 here.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave comments.

Bob Cohen, CDT


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