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Inside Dental Technology
December 2017
Volume 8, Issue 12

Esthetic, Durable Zirconia for Every Situation

Ceramill Zolid HT+ combines tetragonal strength with cubic translucency

By Alexander Wünsche, CDT

Looking back on a long career as a dental technician, the author never thought zirconia would be so successful. Considering how many dental restorations—tooth-borne or implant-borne—are fabricated from this “white steel,” which has overtaken a large portion of the traditional PFM market, it is reasonable to say that zirconia is the most important indirect restorative material in the industry currently.

Consider the first zirconia restoration, which was nothing more than a plain coping that needed to be layered with porcelain to make it tolerably “good looking.” There is no comparison between that and a modern high-end zirconia restoration.

Material Selection

Today, when choosing a material for a case, the author looks first at the restoration type. Is it an implant or a tooth-borne restoration? What is the color of the underlying structure—is it a metal post or abutment, a discolored prepared tooth, or a natural-colored preparation?

The wide range of options on the market today means that the proper zirconia is available for every kind of case. Opaque zirconia is perfect for abutments or attachments. Translucent zirconia is ideal when layering porcelain for better esthetics, but it can also be used in full contour in the posterior area for more strength. High-translucent zirconia, such as Amann Girrbach's Ceramill Zolid FX, is highly esthetic and even available in multi-layered blanks, so it displays a layered look.

Of course, every different type of zirconia has its own advantages and disadvantages. The high-translucent variety is a cubic zirconia. While it is more translucent due to its cubic molecular structure, its disadvantage is that it is not as strong as a tetragonal zirconia such as Ceramill Zolid or Ceramill Zi. This was the trade-off that the technician and dentist were forced to consider when deciding materials for bigger connected cases.

Finally, however, the industry has a solution—the new Ceramill Zolid HT+. This material combines the strength of tetragonal zirconia with the esthetics of cubic zirconia. This is what laboratories and dentists have long sought, with no trade-offs needed.

Case No. 1

When testing this new zirconia, the author was especially impressed by its applications for larger implant cases. Due to its esthetic capabilities, Ceramill Zolid HT+ is great for crown/veneer combinations when the veneers are fabricated out of lithium disilicate.

One case shown presents a combination of a No. 7 veneer, a No. 8 crown, a No. 9 implant crown, and a No. 10 crown (Figure 1 through Figure 3). This combination of different types of restorations, especially in the esthetic zone, makes it very important to choose the correct material. The veneer on tooth No. 7 was a milled wax pattern pressed in GC Initial LiSi Press (GC America Inc., The crowns on teeth Nos. 8, 9, and 10 were milled with Ceramill Zolid HT+ with a minimal cutback for layering some enamel porcelain.

Due to the implant platform, a zirconia hybrid abutment was not a viable option, because the author has an authenticity policy against using third-party components. Therefore, a decision was made to use a custom titanium abutment and anodize it in gold color for a warmer tint. Also due to the metal abutment, however, it was not an option to use a super high translucent zirconia, which would show any color underneath.

Ceramill Zolid HT+ proved to be ideal for the case because it offered a lifelike translucency but still had enough opacity to experiment with the anodized gold color while keeping any metal from showing through the restoration.

During shade taking, taking the stump shades was critical as well. The author was able to make some custom stumps in the appropriate color. With all these preparations, it was only necessary to utilize the correct porcelain powders to match the different shadings of each individual tooth. On the day of insertion, the color blended in beautifully with the neighboring dentition (Figure 4).

Case No. 2

The real advantage of Ceramill Zolid HT+ was evident in the next case shown—a maxillary full arch with individual crowns (Figure 5). The case was designed and milled with the Ceramill system in full contour; no layered porcelain was utilized to adjust contour and color. The crowns were slightly touched up by hand after the 5-axis milling, which already provided a beautiful anatomy and texture. Ceramill Liquid FX infiltration liquids were utilized to achieve a natural color appearance. After the sinter phase in the Ceramill Therm 2 overnight, the crowns were stained and glazed with GC Lustre paste and hand-polished after glazing for a beautiful appearance of line angles and texture.


The combination of strength and esthetics offered by Ceramill Zolid HT+ zirconia means dentists and laboratories no longer need to compromise.

The next big step for this zirconia will be the launch of the pre-colored blanks, an exciting development that will make a significant impact on what laboratories can accomplish in various types of restorations.

Alexander Wünsche, CDT, is the President of Zahntechnique Dental Laboratory in Miami, Florida.

More on the Ceramill Zolid Line

Read about how Alexander Wünsche, CDT, utilizes Ceramill Zolid FX Multilayer in his never-ending pursuit of better restorations.

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About the Author

Alexander Wünsche, CDT, is the President of Zahntechnique Dental Laboratory in Miami, Florida.

Manufacturer Contact Information

Amann Girrbach

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

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