Top in Function, Freedom of Design -
Materials at the International Dental Show 2019
When we have heard about the gold era, the metal-ceramic era, the plastic era in the dentistry sector, we have all had an idea what this referred to. Are these all past eras? And what era are we living in today?
Evidently in an era with a wide choice - an individual offer for each patient, without compromising the function and with plenty of leeway in terms of aesthetics. The opportunities of current dental materials can't be compared as accurately and assessed to see whether they are suitable for one's own laboratory or own practice more efficiently than at the International Dental Show (IDS), 12 to 16 March 2019, in Cologne.
Many methods and materials for the restoration of teeth are younger than one thinks. Furnace-fired tooth-coloured ceramics with a thermal expansion co-efficiency in the area of the structure alloy have only been available for around good fifty years. The related layer, pressing and painting techniques offer dental aesthetics to a large extent.
Attractive CAD/CAM processes for the processing of zirconium oxide in the dental laboratory have only been around for a good fifteen years. In the meantime, this material can be implemented for aesthetic and functional high-class structures for individual crowns, single and multi-element bridges, bars, for telescopic and conically supported dentures as well as for abutments and pillar structures in the dental implantology sector. Hence, for many indications there is a metal-free option of dental restoration.
Restorations made of high-performance glass ceramic are also arising in the practice and laboratory, also using the CAD/CAM technology. Often it is possible to achieve an even better result in terms of aesthetics - more translucency, more opalescence or additional fluorescence effects. Here we are namely talking about lithium disilicate and zirconium oxide-reinforced lithium silicate, as well as hybrid ceramics, for example, ultrastructure feldspar ceramics infiltrated with polymer.
Today, zirconium oxide blanks in different colours are available and these cover the entire V colour spectrum. Blanks with colour gradients on the interior make the individualisation easier and also save time. A patient-friendly aesthetics can be achieved, depending on the special individual case, with a veneer or by characterising a monolithic restoration with stains and glaze.
The aesthetic spectrum of composites has expanded again over the past years. In the classic filling therapy among others multilayer techniques have contributed to a differentiated individualisation. Here, there are both options for the direct or indirect processing.
In the course of the introduction of 3D printing in the dentist sector, further materials from the plastic section are also arising, namely PEEK (polyether ether ketone). This and other thermoplastic polymers bring aesthetic and functional advantages for restorative dentistry with them. Their elasticity module is similar to that of human bone. PEEK is fatigue-resistant combined with great ductility. Due to their high melting temperature PEEK restorations can be sterilised and can be milled via CAD/CAM, but also produced using injection or press moulding methods.
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.com, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh