Today it is absolutely essential for dental labs to adopt a proactive system of communication with their clients. With the economy, new and evolving technologies, and a never ending barrage of new material options, there is always something for both sides to discuss. One of our goals as lab technicians should be to help dental practices reduce their lab overhead and wasted chair time.
Zirconia is among the most exciting dental materials in use today, and as the manufacturer of dental zirconia, we receive plenty of questions about it. Here are some of the most common questions about full-contour zirconia dental restorations and the answers we provide our clients.
Is full-contour zirconia damaging or overly abrasive to opposing natural dentition or restorations?
While full-contour zirconia is very strong (1,100 - 1,350Mpa), the general consensus is that it is not overly abrasive to opposing natural dentition or porcelain restorations as long as it is polished to a smooth finish. If you adjust a full-contour zirconia restoration at seating and leave the adjusted area unpolished, that area will be abrasive. Make sure to polish smooth any area you adjust if that area will contact the opposing tooth or crown.
Can you fabricate an full-contour zirconia restoration in any shade requested?
My answer to this question is yes. At Vsmile partner’s laboratories we use a tried and true staining process that combines both a pre-sinter, deep penetrating stain application with a surface stain application after our sintering process. This allows us to obtain even difficult VITA 3D shades with amazing accuracy. Zirconia shading has improved greatly in recent years, and in the hands of an experienced dental technician the material can match the required shade.
Can you fabricate an full-contour zirconia restoration either for a future partial denture or to fit under an existing partial denture?
Again my answer is yes. At Vsmile partner’s laboratories we regularly fabricate full-contour zirconia restorations for existing partials surveyed with guide planes, and with occlusal rests and buccal undercuts for clasp retention. This is an excellent alternative to a standard PFM because with no alloy involved it costs the dentist less, requires less hands-on labor for the dental laboratory to produce and offers strength beyond what a PFM can provide.
A progressive dental lab can work wonders with zirconia, either by itself or combined with other materials. Its versatility, strength and price point lend themselves well to today’s esthetic and cost-driven marketplace.