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Inside Dentistry
May 2012
Volume 8, Issue 5

New Optimized System from 3M ESPE

New CAD/CAM block joins adhesive and cement to create the ultimate solution.

Dentists with CAD/CAM systems understand the importance of maximizing productivity with their machines to gain an optimum return on their investment. To do this, dentists must pay close attention not only to the CAD/CAM system itself, but also to the materials used with the system. CAD/CAM blocks that are difficult to work with or time-consuming can eat into productivity.

3M ESPE has recently introduced a highly esthetic, extremely strong CAD/CAM block that can help dentists fully maximize their time. 3M™ ESPE™ Lava™ Ultimate CAD/CAM Restorative is made from a unique new material that blends approximately 80% nanoceramic particles with a highly cured resin matrix. This material enables a simple, efficient, no-firing process for making CAD/CAM restorations. It can also be polished to an enamel-like luster in just a few minutes. Unlike traditional ceramic, the material is not brittle, giving it high fracture resistance and long-term durability. Finally, it allows users to easily make adjustments, build up, or reseal restorations. This material offers a two-fold advantage for saving time, with a faster milling time and no need for a firing step. The elimination of the firing step alone can save approximately half an hour from the typical in-office CAD/CAM procedure.

Experience with this material has shown the advantage of its less brittle quality resulting in precise milling. The restorations mill out predictably and smoothly, providing an outstanding marginal fit. A scanning electron microscope analysis of Lava Ultimate restorative versus glass ceramics (including lithium disilicate) demonstrates that it exhibits less chipping at the margins. Additional testing has shown that this material is significantly less wearing on opposing enamel as compared to glass-ceramic materials. Furthermore, it offers similar or higher compressive strength and higher flexural strength than leading chairside materials.1

This nanoceramic material alone is an excellent step toward increasing productivity, but 3M ESPE has also recently introduced two additional components that make the process even simpler: 3M ™ ESPE™ Scotchbond™ Universal Adhesive and 3M™ ESPE™ RelyX™ Ultimate Adhesive Resin Cement. Since its introduction last year, users of Scotchbond Universal adhesive have discovered the convenience of having a single-bottle adhesive that can be used on all surfaces in total-etch, self-etch, or selective-etch mode. This gives dentists a flexible tool that lets them stock just one adhesive, no matter what their preferred technique. The results show consistent high bond strengths, as well as almost no postoperative sensitivity. In addition, the adhesive functions as a metal primer as well as a silane agent for glass-ceramics, meaning that the dentist needs no additional products for these purposes. The adhesive’s primary use is with light-cured materials, but it can also be used with dual-cured cements, as long as the activator is mixed with the adhesive. Once again the dentist saves time and energy using this simplified adhesive system.

In addition, when Scotchbond Universal adhesive is used with the more recently introduced RelyX Ultimate cement, dual-cured bonding b comes even easier. This is due to the fact that 3M placed a unique dual-cure activator within the resin cement itself allowing the dentist to perform indirect restorations with a one-bottle adhesive system. The combination of Scotchbond Universal with RelyX Ultimate makes for a simple and effective CAD/CAM bonding procedure.

This trio of products is designed to help maximize productivity in the dental office, while also providing excellent esthetics, durable restorations, and predictable results with low postoperative sensitivity.


With a CAD/CAM material that mills quickly and needs no firing, a versatile adhesive that can be used for nearly any application, and a cement designed specifically to complement the adhesive, dentists have a very useful set of tools for working efficiently.

The Scotchbond Universal adhesive is compatible with various preferred bonding techniques. The RelyX Ultimate cement, with its dual-cure activator, is designed to work specifically with the Scotchbond adhesive. Together, these products produce a simple, highly effective bonding procedure.

Finally, the properties of Lava Ultimate restorative make it an appealing option not only for productivity, but also for performance and esthetics. In a posterior case such as the one shown here, where strength is very important, the material’s demonstrated durability should give dentists added confidence. In addition, the fact that it is gentle on opposing dentition also makes it a good choice for long-term success. These properties alone would make Lava Ultimate restorative appealing, but when its timesaving benefits are considered as well, the material becomes an even more attractive option.


This article was written by Brent Fredrickson, DDS.


1. Lava Ultimate CAD/CAM Restorative Technical Brief. Available at: Accessed February 21, 2012.

For more information, contact:
Phone: 800-634-2249


The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dentistry.

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