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High-Speed sintering as a highly promising process extension

A panel of experts discusses important issues relating to this new development with reference to the DRS product family from Amann Girrbach.

Mon. 18 October 2021, 12:09 AM

High-Speed sintering as a highly promising process extension

High-speed sintering is a new process that enables efficient work and greater patient comfort. On one hand highly promising, on the other largely untested, high-speed sintering in the dental sector still raises a number of questions. The panel of experts discusses the process with reference to the new Ceramill DRS High-Speed Zirconia Kit from Amann Girrbach, which comprises the Ceramill Therm DRS sintering furnace and the compatible material Zolid DRS.

What benefits are associated with a high-speed sintering system for routine work in laboratories and dental practices?
Markus Bröder: Both laboratories and dental practices can expand their services by adding the “Same-Day Crown”. Due to the extremely shortened sintering process, single-tooth crowns and three-pontic bridges can be realized in just one day, from preparation to final insertion. What's more, the fabrication of other indications can also be shortened considerably, for example, an implant restoration consisting of a zirconia abutment and a crown. Whereas previously at least two days had to be allowed for planning, this type of restoration can now be fabricated easily in less than 24 hours using the Ceramill DRS High-Speed Zirconia Kit, a high-speed sintering system recently launched by us. The natural esthetics and maximum safety are retained with this process.

You have placed a new high-speed sintering system on the market that comprises a high-speed sintering furnace and the compatible zirconia. What can this kit do?
Markus Bröder: The kit is a perfectly coordinated system. Small zirconia restorations are sintered in the high-speed sintering program of the Ceramill Therm DRS in just 20 minutes. However, only materials that are approved for this process should be used for high-speed sintering. We provide compatible materials in the Zolid DRS product family that are suitable for use with the furnace. The Ceramill Therm DRS furnace was provided with the high-speed sintering programs from 20 to 30 minutes as well as other sintering programs. Users can, for example, use a program for speed sintering that features sintering times of 60 to 120 minutes, depending on the material used. This enables the user to utilize the complete zirconia portfolio and does not limit the process to a specific material. The furnace is also not tied to a particular CAD/CAM system.

What properties does this material have and how does it differ from conventional zirconia?
Axel Reichert: For high-speed sintering, specially stained multilayer 4Y-TZP blocks were developed. 4Y-TZP, which is zirconia partly stabilized with 4 mol% yttrium oxide, can be considered an all rounder among the zirconia generations because 4Y-TZP maintains the balance between flexural strength (good mechanical properties) and translucency (good optical properties) and thus covers a broad range of indications. The range of indications is limited to bridges with a maximum of three pontics. Larger restorations of comparable materials such as Gen-X are sintered conventionally but bridges with up to 3 pontics can also be sintered in the Therm DRS in one hour using the speed process.

That all sounds very promising. Nevertheless, the lack of experience means that there is a certain amount of skepticism in the market associated with high-speed sintering regarding its long term stability. What is your take on this?
Axel Reichert: The focus of the development was clearly on the issue of safety because only durable restorations are of benefit to the laboratory, the clinician, and the patient. For this reason, numerous studies were conducted by LMU even during the development phase. The result was conclusive: the fast sintering cycle has no relevant influence on the optical or mechanical properties of the material type investigated. In addition, the high flexural strength of > 800 MPa and the associated classification as a Class 5 zirconia provides an additional safety cushion.
Bogna Stawarczyk: As part of the development cooperation project ZF4052004AG6 of the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (Zentralen Innovationsprogramms Mittelstand, ZIM), which was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, BMWi), we observed the effects of high-speed sintering on the restorations. The task of the LMU was to support our industry partners with scientific input. Both the 4Y-TZP material and high-speed sintering are new to the dental market, which means that longitudinal clinical trials are not yet available. Our materials science research group has nevertheless plausibly tested restorations from the high-speed sintering furnace and we have observed highly promising mechanical and optical properties. A total of 14 studies were conducted in our cooperation project, of which nine have already been published. To date, we have not observed any negative impacts of high-speed sintering on the properties of the fabricated restorations.

The new Ceramill DRS High-Speed Zirconia Kit from Amann Girrbach comprises the Ceramill Therm DRS sintering furnace and the compatible zirconia Zolid DRS. The new Ceramill DRS High-Speed Zirconia Kit from Amann Girrbach comprises the Ceramill Therm DRS sintering furnace and the compatible zirconia Zolid DRS.
The Ceramill Therm DRS sintering furnace in use for a single restoration - gesintert in 20 Minuten. The Ceramill Therm DRS sintering furnace in use for a single restoration - gesintert in 20 Minuten.
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