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Step-By-Step: Diamond Ceramic Series Kit

Digital EstheticsDental Lab Products-2010-11-01
Issue 11

The surface texture of laboratory-manufactured restorations is an important aspect in esthetic dentistry. Texture (micro-geography) often is neglected by laboratory technicians who create unnecessary translucent effects and artificial cracks during the porcelain layering.

The surface texture of laboratory-manufactured restorations is an important aspect in esthetic dentistry. Texture (micro-geography) often is neglected by laboratory technicians who create unnecessary translucent effects and artificial cracks during the porcelain layering.

I have been observing, studying and copying natural teeth for more than 20 years. I believe, without a doubt, that surface texture that captures an authentic look is the key element in any successful restoration. Surface texture is the “finger print” of a tooth and makes crowns or veneers unique. It reflects the age and personality of each patient, and shows the “history” of a tooth. Grooves can be deep for a rough surface or thin (almost non-existent) for a smooth surface. Those subtleties help a restoration appear more natural. Experienced technicians can mimic those effects using the correct instrumentation before the final glaze. KOMET USA recently introduced a kit to the industry that is designed to create shapes and textures in ceramic restorations that best mimic the design of natural teeth.

The very best technician can use texture to create the illusion of a shorter/longer or narrower/wider tooth; therefore surface texture can change the appearance of any restoration.

In this article, I will demonstrate my protocol of the surface texture development using a new Diamond Ceramic Series Kit from KOMET USA, which contains 11 high-end KOMET rotary instruments to create the absolutely finest ceramic restorations.

Clinical example

Refer to the slideshow for figures.

01 The last layer of ceramic has been fired (Fig. A). The final contour and surface texture will be achieved by using a few selected KOMET burs from the Diamond Ceramic Series Kit.

02 First, we remove the shiny aspect of the firing by grinding the surface of the ceramic using the 850.104.023 diamond. Line angles are then traced with red and blue pencils-a red pencil is used to show the actual line angle, and a blue pencil represents the desired line angles (Fig. B). Line angles are modified and controlled by grinding the red line away. Line and transitional angles are important in the contour of a tooth, because they reflect light and determine the width of each tooth.

03 A 862.104.018 diamond is used to modify the line angles (Fig. C). A 863.104.012 can be useful for smaller areas.

04 After the line angels are modified, we confirm that both the blue and red lines match (Fig. D).

05 A regular pencil is used to map the restoration’s surface texture (Fig. E).

06 A 850.104.016 diamond is used to create the main vertical depressions (Fig. F). For additional grooves, the tip of a 862.104.018 can be used (Fig. G).

07 Thinner horizontal lines are created with a 860.104.012. These growth lines can be created one at a time using the sharp tip of that bur. Because those effects are parallel, we can create a few at the same time just by changing the angle of the bur and by having a wider contact with the material’s surface.

08 Very thin fissures observed in natural teeth are difficult to make on the material’s surface. Without using the right instrument, fissures will look artificial. To mimic this effect, I like to use KOMET’s H97.104.010 carbide because it is designed with a three-edged wedge (Fig. H).

09 After creating the texture prior to the final glaze, we must finish the margins. Using a diamond instrument such as the 847.104.014 flat-end taper diamond allows us to cut the porcelain from the investment with precision (Fig. I). We then use a 8863.104.102 fine-flame diamond (Fig. J) to refine the ceramic all around the margin. It’s best to use a microscope when performing this step.

10 Using a double-sided diamond disc (3 mm of diamond coating) like a 911H.104.180 is a great way to match the micro chips observed on incisal edges of worn teeth (Fig. K).

11 While glazing the porcelain, we must control the amount of paste used during this step. We need to avoid filling the textures we took the time to create (Fig. L).

12 After the restorations are glazed, I use a rubber wheel to soften the texture on convexities only (Fig. M). The luster is adjusted using a diamond paste (Diamante high-luster diamond paste) and a felt wheel (Fig. N).

13 The finished veneers are adjusted on a master cast (Fig. O). The porcelain veneers created in this case are displayed one year after they were placed in the patient’s mouth (Fig. P).


Restorations with an authentic life-like appearance are created when technicians use a combination of quality restorative materials with well adapted form and personalized surface texture and innovative instruments. This makes the process easier and more successful. 


About the author

Olivier Tric began his studies in France at the College of Leonardo Da Vinci and the University of Pharo while pursuing an apprenticeship in dental technology. After a 5-year apprenticeship, he launched a 15-year career devoted to a thorough understanding of the principles of dental esthetics and the mastery of specialized techniques in dental laboratory technology. His specialties include all facets of porcelain restorations on both natural teeth and osseo-integrated implants. He is recognized by his peers as a pioneer in the dental industry by developing new and unique methodologies that are taught worldwide. He is widely published on the topic of ceramic layering techniques and esthetic dentistry in journals such as Dental Dialogue, Practical Procedures & Aesthetic Dentistry and Quintessence Dental Technology. He also serves on the editorial board for Spectrum Dialogue and Teamwork. His professional affiliations include Design Technique International, Oral Design International Foundation and others. He is a highly respected lecturer and educator, teaching hands-on courses to dentists and technicians throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He is regularly consulted by leading dental manufacturers and laboratories for input on new product development. He currently operates the Olivier Tric Dental Laboratory and Educational Center. He can be reached at oliviertric@ameritech.net. For more information, please visit oliviertric.com.

Disclosure: Mr. Tric receives royalties from KOMET USA.

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