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Ryan Hamm is the Editorial Director for Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics.
Though the last few years have seen a significant rise in monolithic restorations made out of materials like zirconia and lithium disilicate, there are plenty of labs that still specialize in PFM restorations-and have the esthetic results to make that choice a viable one.
However, even among labs with decades of experience with casting and porcelain buildup, unexpected problems with metal handling can still set even the most practiced technician back hours. Casting metal can easily result in air bubbles, dust, dirt or any number of other issues.
Fortunately, for those labs committed to maintaining PFM work, there’s a new solution: Ceramill Sintron chrome cobalt alloy, which is a non-precious metal that demonstrates strength and esthetics in a variety of restorative solutions. And now, with Ceramill Sintron (Amann Girrbach America), technicians have a chrome cobalt material that can be dry milled on their benchtop milling machine. Sintron’s wax-like qualities in its presintered stage ensure that milling is quick and easy, providing an ideal result that is said to be perfect for porcelain layering and bonding.
To go behind the scenes of this remarkable new product, DLP recently spoke with one of the minds behind the creation of Ceramill Sintron. Falko Noak is a graduate engineer (Dipl. Ing. (FH)) and the Head of Dental Application and Research and Development at Amann Girrbach. He told us about the development of Sintron, why it’s pushing labs’ abilities forward and why it fits into the Ceramill CAD/CAM workflow “like butter.”
Q: You’re in R&D at Amann Girrbach. What does that entail?
A: My position is head of application techniques of the R&D department at Amann Girrbach. In this position, I am responsible for the development of new materials as well as application workflows for our CAD/CAM System to ensure safe and reproducible results for our users.
Q: What was your involvement in the development of Ceramill Sintron?
A: I was leading the development team around Ceramill Sintron from the beginning. It was a big challenge to streamline the cooperation between our own R&D department and our development partner, Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden. Our focus from the beginning was not only to develop a soft-millable CoCr blank, but to produce a complete workflow-including a reproducible sintering strategy to ensure flawless operation of the product.
Q: What were you hearing from around the lab industry that led to the development of Sintron?
A: We heard rumors about the basic technique in a very early stage. We instantly were attracted by the potential, but it was clear that there would be major steps necessary in order to create a working product out of this idea, which was nothing more than an idea at this stage.
We were also very attracted by the fact that this was a chance to not only replace the classic casting technique, but also create a workflow identical to the application workflow with zirconia a lot of technicians are already familiar with. Because of our in-house approach with the Ceramill System, we have been looking for a worthwhile and efficient solution to process metal in our compact desktop milling system Ceramill Motion.
Q: For the Amann Girrbach team, what was the process like when developing Sintron?
A: It was a complex and challenging project from the very beginning. Our team members were extremely motivated because they realized the revolutionary potential of the product immediately. They understood it was a big chance to take part in the development of a product that has the power to change how non-precious metal restorations are handled.
Q: What are the advantages of Sintron versus other CoCr products? What sets Sintron apart?
A: I would list three primary advantages and qualities of Sintron that make it stand out:
1. The material demonstrates precision and reproducible results in terms of mechanical properties and biocompatibility.
2. Tremendous time savings compared to casting or outsourcing.
3. “Soft” milling (wax consistency of blank) in order to save the in-house milling unit from wearing out and losing precision over time.
Q: What have you heard from dentists about restorations created with Sintron?
A: They are stunned by the precision capabilities and biocompatibility, which are key factors to ensure long-term stability. Clinical results over the first two years have demonstrated hassle-free application by the involved dentist. Since the market launch, there have been over 500,000 units successfully implemented.
Q: How have patients responded to restorations created with Sintron?
A: From what we hear of our live and partner labs around the world, Sintron has left quite a big impression on patients as well as dentists. Due to its capabilities and perfect veneering properties, outstanding esthetics and clean-looking results are possible, which is recognized by patients instantly.
Q: How does Sintron fit into the entire Ceramill workflow?
A: Like butter! It was a major goal of the project from the very beginning to ensure and create a perfectly integrated workflow-it’s one of Ceramill’s biggest success factors. The Sintron perfectly fits into an existing workflow that has the Ceramill Motion 2 milling unit and the Ceramill Argotherm sintering furnace.
In conclusion, I can only thank my whole team for conquering such a project successfully and creating a product that is penetrating markets worldwide.