Inside Dental Technology
December 2015
Volume 6, Issue 11

The King of Porcelain Modeling Liquids

The pursuit of better esthetics in dentistry has been a passion of Jim Emmons, CDT, FNBC, for 53 years. The longtime dental laboratory owner has eight patents on porcelain systems and equipment; he lectures around the country and recently published a book, “Aesthetic Edge: Bioluminescent Color & Cosmetics in Dentistry.” So it was not surprising that, when he noticed buildup liquids affecting the translucency of fired products, he decided to invent a solution.

The result of this endeavor was Stax Plus, a universal modeling liquid available from Dental Creations for both low- and high-fusing porcelains, including lithium disilicate and Yz layering porcelains.

“The powders that we’re using to layer onto lithium disilicate, and to a lesser extent zirconia, seem to me mealy or soft,” Emmons says. “It’s like you’re building cornmeal. When you want to carve it, it is almost impossible.

“What I came up with is something that fires more clearly than water.”

Stax Plus eliminates slumping, reduces buildup time by 25%, maximizes shade results, reduces firing shrinkage by approximately 50%, and eliminates steam tears and margin lifts.

“One of the reasons why we called it Stax Plus is the technician does not need to change the buildup technique at all,” Emmons says. “The consistency is whatever they are used to using, but when they pick up an amount of porcelain, place it on the crown, wiggle it a little bit, and blot it, nothing else is necessary. It does not slump and run. You can segment different blends side by side, or layer, and it does not turn into cake mix.”

The key, Emmons says, is that the liquid enables the air in the powder to come out easily, which leads to a much tighter compaction automatically and significantly less shrinkage.

“Overbuilding to compensate for shrinkage is minimized,” Emmons says.

One technician who tried the product thought the bubbles that appeared on top of the porcelain meant that Stax Plus was putting air into it, Emmons says. To the contrary, the bubbles were a sign that the liquid was taking air out.

“Flip it over a couple times,” Emmons says, “and all of a sudden it’s like a creamy paste. It doesn’t run. Put it in place and blot it for just a second, and you can do whatever you want. It’s a substantial reduction in the amount of time it takes me to get it where I stop and carve anatomy or smooth contours.

“It turned out to be a pretty neat product.”

The product reached its full potential when Emmons brought it to Dental Creations Limited Partner Gina Parker, who surprised him by asking if he could make it better.

“I said, ‘Wow. I don’t know. We’ve been developing that liquid for several years, but let me look at it,’” Emmons says. “No one had ever asked me to make it better. It was so crazy: This is a very complicated product to make, but I changed vendors and part of the chemistry, and it was unbelievable. It got one notch better.”

Emmons told Parker, “You have enabled me to do something I have not been able to do: I made myself look bad!”

Emmons now has moved his office to the same building as Dental Creations’ headquarters, and he works as a day-to-day consultant for the company. He says they have “some interesting developments in the pipeline.”

The partnership should be exciting and productive if Stax Plus is any indicator.

“I can tell you how good this product is,” Emmons says, pausing. “I would buy it.”

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