The press technique turns 30 and the esthetic dentistry success story continues

10 June 2021

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In 1991, Ivoclar Vivadent came up with a completely new way of fabricating dental restorations. As one of the worldwide leading manufacturers of integrated solutions for high-quality dental applications, the dental company from Liechtenstein had the pioneering idea of pressing all-ceramic materials and subsequently developed the press technique. This process is regarded as a milestone in esthetic dentistry and as a proven and future-proof manufacturing method.

Every four seconds, somewhere in the world, a restoration made with Ivoclar Vivadent pressed ceramics is placed. Despite the arrival of other new fabrication methods, dentists and dental technicians continue to trust this unique and reliable process – using it with enduring enthusiasm and utmost conviction. The press technique continues to be state of the art.

Gold alloys used to be the go-to material for dentists and dental technicians who wished to minimize the risk of intolerance in patients. However, these materials showed shortcomings with regard to their esthetic appearance and wear behaviour and they could not fulfill the growing demand for metal-free solutions. In response to the needs and requirements of the dental industry, Ivoclar Vivadent came up with the visionary idea of pressing all-ceramic restorations and established an entirely new development approach.

Amazing all-ceramics

The hot-pressing technique, which was originally used to press the IPS Empress ceramics, together with the Programat press furnace, steadily evolved into a true alternative to casting dental alloys. All-ceramic restorations were shown to offer a wide range of benefits: compatibility with the natural tooth structure; neutrality in relation to other materials; light transmission properties similar to those of dental enamel; and a tooth-like appearance – in large part due to the nearly “invisible” restoration margin. A passion for producing highly esthetic restorations and the satisfaction derived from fulfilling the corporate mission of "making people smile" spurred the company on over the years to consistently refine the technique in terms of esthetics, function and strength.

A new milestone: IPS e.max

In 2005, Ivoclar Vivadent introduced another breakthrough material: the lithium disilicate glass-ceramic IPS e.max. Armin Ospelt, Senior Director of the Global Business Unit Labside Analog, had the following to say about the pioneering press ingot: “IPS e.max Press has confirmed its longevity in everyday clinical practice. One hundred million restorations and a survival rate of 96.2 % bear testimony to its success. The IPS e.max guarantee is as promising as the material itself.”

Future-oriented press workflow

As the need for heightened productivity grows, new and efficient fabrications methods are required. Therefore, the PrograPrint 3D printing system was developed some time ago in order to complement the conventional hot-pressing process. It gives dental technicians an opportunity to try their hand at digital manufacturing. The system helps to cut down on time-consuming steps and consequently maximizes the efficiency of the fabrication process. Nevertheless, exceptional technical skill and a well-trained eye are still the most important assets of the dental technician for imparting restorations with a uniqueness all of their own. Overall, however, the efficiency of the dental laboratory increases due to the fact that several wax-ups can be fabricated in one printing process. The laboratory not only benefits from its enhanced productivity, but also from the added value it creates. Therefore, the ceramic pressing technique is considered to be a proven and at the same time future-proof manufacturing method.

Lab-proven and future-proof

The 30-year success story of the press technique provides a good reason to celebrate for Ivoclar Vivadent. An informative website has been created by the company that showcases in detail all the features and benefits of this fabrication method. In addition, all registered visitors to the page take part in a competition in which a number of attractive prizes can be won. The main prize is a smart, state-of-the-art Programat EP 5010 G2 press and ceramic furnace. It is worth taking part. The page is available under:

IPS e.max® is a registered trademark of Ivoclar Vivadent AG.

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