Inside Dental Technology
November 2015
Volume 6, Issue 10

Dental Technology “Made in the Alps”

Founder seeks to provide everything technicians need, including education

Zirkonzahn was founded in 2003 and has its headquarters in Gais, a municipality in South Tyrol, Italy. The business is owned by master dental technician Enrico Steger, who made his name in professional circles by inventing the Zirkograph, a manual zirconia milling machine. What started as a 1-person business is now a workplace for more than 200 employees all over the world, in various branch offices and training centers. Over the years, the company has grown to become a specialized provider for the dentistry sector. To ensure that continues, Steger places a high value on in-house production: All components of the Zirkonzahn products that are exported to more than 100 countries in the world are produced in-house, while all raw materials are sourced from selected partners. The product portfolio is constantly updated, optimized, and enlarged to satisfy increasing and changing demands and to bring products to the market that are both innovative and high quality.

As getting the right material for a specific indication is the foundation for restorative success, Zirkonzahn offers not only different zirconia ceramics but also titanium, cobalt-chromium, sintered metals, resins, and wax. Zirkonzahn’s high-quality standards ensure that the products meet international quality standards and guidelines. Zirkonzahn has been ISO 9001 and ISO 13485:2003/CMDCAS certified since 2006. All medical devices have been cleared by the FDA.

Zirkonzahn’s flagship material is Prettau® Zirconia. This is a highly translucent, exceptionally biocompatible, and absolutely non-porous dental-restoration material. Thanks to the high translucency, the natural appearance, and a special coloring technique, it is possible to entirely eliminate the use of veneer ceramics in all functional areas of the dentition. This way, esthetically pleasing full-contour zirconia restorations, called Prettau Bridges, can be realized.

Due to the elimination of veneer ceramics, laboratories can design the structure even more massively, so that its flexural strength is 200% higher and both the ceramic chipping and the abrasion on the antagonist can be prevented. For this reason, Prettau Zirconia is in a world of its own, especially in the field of implant dentistry, in cases of limited available space or restorations with prosthetic gingival reconstruction. In addition to Prettau Zirconia, Zirkonzahn offers the Colour Liquid Prettau Aquarell series. This series of water-based and acid-free color liquids includes 16 colors covering the entire chromatic spectrum of dental shades.

The company’s goal is to cover all needs of a dental technician. In addition to processable raw materials and tools, CAD/CAM systems, optical scanners, sintering furnaces, and coloring liquids, the company also produces products that are particularly interesting for dentists and can be used in many dental practices. This includes the Face Hunter facial scanner, used to digitize patient faces, and the PlaneSystem®, which registers and measures the position of the patient’s upper jaw and the natural line of occlusion.

The high quality of the products and continuous development are the central themes of the company’s concept. As development also encompasses continuous education and self-development, Steger attaches great importance to the training and further education of his clients. Because he loves what he does, he has a passion for passing on his knowledge. He wants to convince other people to do as he has done, and to this end he has produced an extraordinary educational program and established training centers all over the world. Among those are the recently opened educational centers in Atlanta, Georgia and Irvine, California. Steger’s primary aim: Helping his clients to be among the very best and sharing with them his ideas, giving them an innovative edge that will deeply impress.

The international Zirkonzahn Education Centers provide a wide range of courses, in which beginners as well as professional dental technicians can find the program that is right for them. Highly trained dental technicians instruct the participants in technical dentistry concepts and working methods, and are always available to provide tips and advice. Steger has made it his goal to train “heroes” of dental technology. This means that his students are not only experienced and well-trained but also real masters and experts in their field. A passion for their profession is just as important to him as the motivation to make good things even better and to carry out the profession with tireless ambition and effort. The motto “We forge heroes” summarizes this concept in 3 simple words and also indicates Steger’s wish to provide more recognition for the dental technology profession. He wants to encourage aspiring and existing dental technicians to shape the world with their own hands—to see their profession as a calling and aspire to change things.

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