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Inside Dental Technology
March 2024
Volume 15, Issue 2

Teamwork Leads to Great Esthetics and Reliability for Zirconia Hybrids

Upcera materials provide solid foundation

John Madden, CDT

The essentials of great zirconia esthetics are symmetry, proportion, shape, function, color, strength, translucency, and texture. The difference between achieving excellent results and failure involves both conscientious choices and, most importantly, teamwork.

Achieving all the essentials for esthetics is nearly impossible to complete along with reliability and consistency. There are just too many skills required for one single person to master and perform day after day. It also requires a great deal of energy to stay current on the latest material advancements and techniques. The constant learning and attention can be exhausting. Distributing this work to many people in the laboratory is essential to maintaining consistent and excellent results. Therefore, building a great team for success that highlights each member's strength may be the true art form.

Another large part of top-tier esthetics is derived from the material itself. The zirconia's characteristics are the foundation for your craft and technique. Upcera's multilayer Explore Functional and Explore Esthetic are good choices and a solid foundation for my zirconia work. Additionally, the Upcera team is an excellent addition to my own team, providing me with support and up-to-date education on the latest products.

Explore Functional is a 3Y-TZP-4Y-PSZ disc with a strength range of 1,027 MPa to 1,300 MPa. The disc has a translucency gradient that ranges from 43% to 47% from bottom to top. This is my preferred zirconia for all-on-four zirconia hybrids or monolithic zirconia hybrids with long spans. As we all know, balancing strength and esthetics on only four implant sites can be challenging. Each day, clinicians and technicians are both fighting for restorative space to cram both these qualities into a zirconia hybrid. Explore Functional is a great product for these situations, giving me confidence that the prosthetic will last.

Upcera Explore Esthetic, on the other hand, offers strengths of 727 MPa to 1,000 MPa and boasts a translucency of approximately 49%. While this doesn't quite have the strength for monolithic hybrids, it is an excellent choice for thimble bar or sleeve hybrids, as well as smaller crown-and-bridge restorations. Explore Esthetic is a beautiful material that gives life to any anterior crown application where translucency is the primary concern.

Now more than ever, building a solid reputation for great monolithic zirconia work is imperative, as the demand for this work is only increasing. Keeping up with demand will require building a great team, and having long-term reliability will require a premium choice in zirconia.

About the Author

John Madden, CDT
John Madden Prosthetics
Minneapolis, MN

Key Takeaways

• Upcera Explore Functional balances strength and esthetics for long-lasting restorations.

• Upcera Esthetic is a beautiful material that is ideal for restorations where translucency is the primary concern.

• A great team is essential for creating great monolithic zirconia work.

Manufacturer Information

Upcera Dental America Inc.

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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