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Inside Dental Technology
March 2019
Volume 10, Issue 3

The Next Generation of All-Ceramics

By Jed Archibald, CDT

Ivoclar Vivadent is a global leader in innovative materials and processes for quality, esthetic dentistry. They jump started the Esthetic Revolution in 1991 with the introduction of IPS Empress, a material that provided dental professionals and patients with a promise for better dentistry. In 2005, Ivoclar Vivadent launched IPS e.max - the most innovative all-ceramic material to date.  With over 150 million restorations placed globally, and a clinical survival rate of 97%, IPS e.max lithium disilicate has become the new standard of care for dental patients.  Now, the next generation of all-ceramic innovation is available from Ivoclar Vivadent. IPS e.max® ZirCAD® Prime is redefining the category of all-ceramics!

The new IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime, a high-strength, highly esthetic oxide ceramic material faithfully reproduces the seamless progression of natural dentition. Eliminating the need to carry as many all-ceramic materials in the dental lab, IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime combines multiple innovations within one product through a new manufacturing process called Gradient Technology (GT). This creates one disc that does not compromise esthetics for strength, and likewise does not compromise strength for esthetics. Today, most dental labs carry a brand of high strength ceramic material and a brand of esthetic ceramic material. Using IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime allows the dental lab to carry only one product line to fulfill both needs. For a broad range of applications—from single tooth crowns to 14-unit bridges-the new IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime satisfies all of today's strength and esthetic requirements for state-of-the-art all-ceramic restorations.

Gradient Technology

IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime discs are created through an all-new manufacturing technique called Gradient Technology (GT) that combines multiple innovations within one material. These groundbreaking processing steps allow the combination of 3Y and 5Y oxide ceramics in order to produce exceptional physical and optical properties

To begin, ingenious powder conditioning adjusts the sintering kinetics and allows the raw 3Y and 5Y oxide ceramic powders to be optimally combined. This results in a uniform shrinkage ensuring outstanding accuracy of fit and no distortion. Proprietary, state of the art filling technology allows for IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime to offer a true material progression from dentin to enamel (Figure 1). Unlike multi-layered materials on the market which can have visible layers of color, GT offers a seamless progression of shade and translucency to provide premium esthetics combined with exceptional strength. Furthermore, distinct from traditional ceramic material which utilizes one type of manufacturing process, IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime is created through multiple processing steps. One of which, is Cold Isostatic Pressing (CIP). In this step, the discs are densely and uniformly compacted from all sides simultaneously. This improves the microstructure of the material and optimizes its translucent properties. Furthermore, it allows the material to be sintered at shorter intervals. A full tray of single unit crowns can be sintered in only 2 hours, 26 minutes with the Programat S1 1600. Finally, additional all in one speed sintering programs are available. GT is the key to high-end esthetics, outstanding accuracy of fit and efficient processing (Figure 2).

Maximum Flexibility and Possibilities

Since the new IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime disc is not built up with layers, but instead exhibits a continuous, seamless shade progression and optimized translucent properties, the premium esthetic appearance of the material results in natural looking restorations that can be created without having to do any characterization work.  Only a simple glaze firing is needed to complete an IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime restoration. However, should more customization be desired, IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime can also be processed using staining, cut-back or veneering techniques. Finishing the restoration is simplified by utilizing the wide variety of characterization materials available from Ivoclar Vivadent, no matter what processing technique is preferred. From IPS e.max ceram for versatile layering and IPS e.max ZirCAD LT coloring liquids for infiltrating, to Ivocolor for stain and glazing, the entire IPS e.max system is coordinated.  IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime offers maximum flexibility and complete customization when manufacturing ceramic restorations. Furthermore, with a flexural strength of 1,200 MPa and a fracture toughness of >5 MPa, IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime is suitable for any indication - from single unit crowns to 14-unit bridges and everything in between. The material can be utilized with thin wall thicknesses on minimally prepared tooth structure.  IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime disc sets new benchmarks in the esthetic appearance of the strongest all-ceramic restorations, regardless of indication or processing technique.

For restoration design, IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime boasts an intelligent disc design. The incisal and transition zones of the IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime discs are always the same height, regardless of the disc thickness. The height of the dentin zone differs depending on the disc thickness. Restorations can therefore always be positioned in the disc depending on the desired level of strength and translucency desired from dentin to enamel. This consistency in disc design enhances predictability for the dental professional, while simultaneously offering complete customization of the restoration.

Available in 16 A-D shades and 4 BL shades, IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime provides production and inventory efficiencies in the dental laboratory by providing a "One-Disc Solution", eliminating the need to carry multiple material types for esthetic vs high-strength ceramic cases. It produces results that optimize efficiency and profitability, while simultaneously offering exceptional esthetics comparable to glass-ceramic. The choice between strength and beauty no longer needs to be made. IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime is a truly the next generation of all-ceramic material.


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