The way dental technicians work in dental laboratories has changed significantly over the past ten years. In order to take full advantage of the new technologies, DOCERAM Medical Ceramics GmbH from Dortmund has developed a dental blank called Nacera Pearl Natural, which is optimally adapted to the new processing techniques and therefore contributes to significant time and cost savings. Frank Löring, Managing Director of Frank Löring Dentaltechnik in Witten, Germany, is impressed by the product. According to him the higher efficiency and the easier processing are the main advantages.
From optimising processes all the way to selecting the right material – the challenges in dental laboratories are extremely complex and multifaceted. With Nacera Pearl Natural, DOCERAM Medical offers dental laboratories the possibility to produce reliable and reproducible results at all times. The new material offers dental technicians particularly easy and therefore reliable handling and at the same time a natural colour gradient and translucency of the tooth in fluid transitions. The area of application ranges from monolithic single crowns to complex, torsion-free supraconstructions for the anterior and posterior region.
From craftsmanship to CAD/CAM specialists
The work in dental laboratories has changed considerably over the last ten years. Back then it was still an individual craft, whereas dental technicians today have increasingly become CAD/CAM specialists. They are a mix of material and process specialists, ideally coupled with a great aesthetic understanding. Often, only the staining and/or glazing in the finalisation stage remain individual processes for the ceramist. Highly aesthetic front tooth restorations are an exception. These are still carried out by the dental technician in a traditional process due to the high aesthetic standards and the difficulty of the surface texture with zirconium.
Nacera Pearl Natural is a high translucent multilayer material with natural colours and translucent transitions from incisal to the cervical region. 16 colours and two Vita 3D bleach shades cover all tooth colours. Frank Löring: "I am sure that we will focus on 3D multilayer materials in the near future, such as Nacera Pearl Natural. This has been characterised for several years by the constant change from opaque material to 3D multilayer products. While there will be further optimisation of material in the future, we will probably not see a real technological leap anymore."
Combination of strength and translucency
Conventional dental blanks were only been able to fulfil one thing up to now: either a natural translucency or high strength. DOCERAM Medical has succeeded in combining both properties with Nacera Pearl Natural. Its high strength values throughout the entire blank allow the positioning of connectors even in the top translucent layer (carefree handling). The material offers at least 1,000 MPa in the incisal region and about 1,200 MPa in the cervical region. This ensures high safety reserves at all times for the required strength limits according to Class 5 of DIN EN 6872.
Frank Löring: "I like to work in the deep or middle part of a blank during restorations, i.e., in the safe area in terms of strength. But many others also prefer the upper part of a blank, which assures high strength."
Great time savings
Frank Löring places great value on anatomical constructions. With the new material, it is also no longer necessary to finish off the fit after the sintering process. "Thanks to Nacera Pearl Natural, I am increasingly relying on monolithic crowns and bridges. This reduces the manual veneering process to a minimum. Practically I don’t layer the posterior region because one glaze firing cycle is sufficient to achieve an aesthetic effect when using the new material. This increases my efficiency. While monolithic production is around 30–40% cheaper than veneer production, I am saving up to half the time because of the reduced firing cycles compared to conventional veneering. This means that I achieve a significantly higher throughput in the laboratory, as the complaint rate is practically zero," explains Frank Löring.
Enormous process reliability
The new Nacera Pearl Natural material offers dental technicians greater processing reliability than conventional materials. This reliability begins with a product "made in Germany". Frank Löring explains: "Compared to many other manufacturers, DOCERAM Medical's products offer a high level of safety. Thanks to their great know-how as a manufacturer of high-performance ceramics, they have got excellent quality assurance and the research and development is also very well structured. And if any problem should occur, I always have a competent contact person who is able to solve the problems. The product advice is also exceptionally good."
Optimised processes for greater efficiency
Thomas Gausmann, Technical Manager at DOCERAM Medical Ceramics, sums things up: "With DOCERAM Pearl Natural, we generate excellent time advantages for our customers, which increase efficiency enormously. From the beginning, the focus of development was on reliability, colour accuracy as well as high aesthetic standards and maximum distortion-free precision. The flowing transitions between layers enable the ceramic team in the laboratory to arrive at the desired results quickly, efficiently and intuitively."
* VITA is a registered trademark of VITA Zahnfabrik H. Rauter GmbH & Co. KG, Bad Säckingen (Germany)