Material Options Help Digital Dentistry Excel

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report June 2021, Volume 55, Issue 6

This product roundup provides information on some of today’s top digital material choices, and also ways to easily make the transition to digital materials, including matching the digital material to your workflow.

Once you have decided to incorporate a digital workflow into your practice, there is no shortage of options of digital dental materials to choose from. Although choosing which one to use and why depends on the case being treated and the technology being used, the good news is that manufacturers continue to develop new materials and enhance the options available.

Dentists performing in-office milling with CAD/CAM dentistry are limited to using restorative materials that are available in the blocks that fit into their milling machines. They may also be limited to using blocks with mandrels that connect to their specific milling machine. Additionally, for some materials, such as zirconia, the clinician may be required to use a specific furnace to sinter their restoration once it has been milled. That said it is good to be aware of the many restorative materials available in block form to be milled in-office.

Today’s materials do not ask you to choose between esthetics and strength.

In the past, lithium disilicate was the material of choice, but it would occasionally break. Zirconia offered strength in those days but did not look great in the esthetic zone. But manufacturers have stepped up in recent years, and dentists now can reach for esthetic zirconia materials that provide strength and improved esthetics. Between better shade matching and the appearance of translucency, esthetic zirconia products allow clinicians today a little more leeway about the type of materials they use and where they are used, in some cases.