In his 30th year as a lab technician, Mike Archibald, CDT, is just as dedicated and passionate as he was at the beginning of his career. Owner of Mike Archibald Dental Studio and 50 Shades Dental Studio, LLC, Archibald trained under his father, who started the Archibald Associates laboratory and school of dental technicians. There, Archibald had the benefit of learning firsthand in his father’s lab while also having the opportunity to sit in on courses from Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, who lectured there.
As he moved on to start his own dental labs, Archibald continued his father’s good working relationship with Ivoclar, whose products he’s used and loved since day 1.
“When I say that I believe in and love a company like Ivoclar, it comes from the very first day of my job, the very first day I started,” he says.
Up until several years ago, he wasn’t sold on zirconia.“I didn’t truly believe in it at that point,” Archibald says. “I knew it was here for a reason. It just wasn’t my go-to. There were lots of issues with zirconia back in the day because it wasn’t esthetic. You had to layer a bunch of ceramic on it, [which] would end up chipping,” he explains. “ It [was] hard to manage. What you saw at the bench was different [from] what you saw in the mouth.”
As zirconia materials developed and improved, Archibald says he first tried IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime about a few years ago on its release. His experience with this zirconia changed his mind on the material.
“It’s truly the most boutique zirconia core on the market and, in my opinion, that’s because of the multichromatic layering in it,” he says. “The high opacity gingival and up to the gradient and translucent incisal. For somebody [who] respects and loves what we do like I do, [suddenly], zirconia became a real valuable tool. We can actually do incredible work with this material now, with minimal layering.
“Now we can take an everyday prep and, depending on the prep, we can generate the right IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime core for that particular situation. I can minimally layer the facial and get almost any result that I want. The only thing, of course, [is] I’m not doing it with is veneers. But other than veneers, it’s really become my go-to,” he says.
IPS e.max® ZirCAD Prime®
IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime is a millable zirconia created using an innovative manufacturing process known as gradient technology to create a seamless progression of shade and translucency. This allows the material to be used for highly esthetic restorations. The high-strength zirconium oxide material (1200 MPa) is known for its high accuracy of fit and exceptional quality. It ingeniously blends esthetics with flexibility and accommodates all applications and fabrication techniques.
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IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime is a millable zirconia created using a manufacturing process known as gradient technology. This allows for 2 zirconium oxide raw materials—3Y-TZP and 5Y-TZP—to be combined into 1 puck, allowing for the strength of 3Y-TZP and the esthetics of 5Y-TZP. Indicated for single crowns and wide-span bridges, IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime is suitable for any fabrication technique.
What Patients Deserve
Ultimately, dental lab technicians are artists who create beautiful restorations. But they’re also uniquely responsible for helping create the smiles patients expect—and IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime helps Archibald deliver on that expectation.
“If I’m not doing a feldspathic or a no-prep veneer case, I prefer to do it out of IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime,” Archibald says. “That’s simply because esthetically, it gives me what I want. Cosmetically, it gives the patient and the doctor what they want. [I can guarantee the] longevity of the crown. I can give them the results that I as the artist want, but most importantly, what the patient deserves.
“At the end of the day, everything that we do should be for the patient, and [it] should be the very best for the patient,” he continues. “And I could never do that—I could never feel comfortable doing that before IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime.”
Archibald says that in his past experience with other materials, it could be that he would think he had just finished a masterpiece, and then find the values just didn’t match. However, since switching to IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime, that simply isn’t the case anymore.
“It’s just as accurate as any other material on the market,” Archibald says. “I’m just grateful that we have a product that I can stand behind and be proud of.”