Metal-ceramics continues to keep its innovative edge
At first glance, it seems that metal-free restorations are on the advance everywhere. Yet, if we look at the global picture, we can see that three out of four crowns are based on a metal framework. Even in the USA, where all-ceramic systems and CAD/CAM technologies have been on the rise for some time, around 50 percent of all restorations are made of metal-ceramics.
Why new metal-ceramics?
Metal-ceramics is not only widespread but it also continues to harbour potential for innovation. The trick in developing a new ceramic material is to combine in a single material the manifold beneficial properties of existing metal-ceramic systems. The result should be a material that is able to satisfy the rising expectations of users and meet the increasing technological challenges – and to keep pace with our times. These goals have been achieved with IPS Style.
Better than known materials
A requirement of the new material was that it be suitable for both straightforward and esthetically complex layering techniques - similar to the feldspar-based veneering ceramics available on the market. The new metal-ceramic should be easy to process, reliable to use and provide highly esthetic results. Another criterion was: it should reflect the ongoing changes in the alloy market. In other words: the new metal-ceramic should be equally safe to use on high-gold casting alloys as on base metal alloys. The development of IPS Style has resulted in a material that meets all these requirements
Criterion for the development of IPS Style: the ceramic should be suitable for the veneering of conventionally cast, digitally milled and additively manufactured frameworks.
A balancing act in material design
Another criterion that needed to be taken into account in the development of IPS Style: the metal-ceramic material should be designed to be low-fusing and offering high shade and firing stability. The challenge was to maintain or even improve the favourable properties of the ceramics that are fired at higher temperatures. In contrast, the low-fusing veneering materials known until recently produced rather dubious results in this respect as they were
plagued by poor edge stability after multiple firing cycles, greying and low resistance to oral conditions. Bringing together in a single material the demand characteristics of "low fusing" and "shade and firing stability" presented a balancing act in material design. We now have a material on hand that offers all these characteristics.
Conclusion: Metal-ceramics must do more than just "function"
Ease of use, reliable results and the ability to meet the demand of ambitious technicians to create highly customized veneers are features that modern metal-ceramics should fulfil. Users no longer distinguish between "high-volume" ceramics and high-end veneering ceramics – whichever material they are using, they want reliability of use, underpinned by high esthetics and easy working procedures. Criteria such as shrinkage, wetting, firing stability and colour stability play a particularly relevant role in this context. It is exactly here that Ivoclar Vivadent comes in with the metal-ceramic IPS Style Ceram.
Low-fusing and highly esthetic: many years of research and innovative material design have made it possible to deliver these features in a single material.
This article was penned by Dr Urs Bolle (Liechtenstein). The extended article was published in the April issue of the trade magazine Dental Dialogue (Germany).
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