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The full contour zirconia trend began in 2009, with the launch of Glidewell’s BruxZir® Solid Zirconia crowns and bridges, marketed as a “virtually unbreakable” option for bruxers and grinders. Other manufacturers began to follow suit and introduce their own solid zirconia options and “Full Z” has become the fastest growing restoration in laboratories across the country.
The restorations allow laboratories to offer a lower-cost solution, and the labor-saving digital process ensures better fits and fewer remakes. There remains concern among some laboratory owners about zirconia’s increased wear on opposing dentition, although advocates say that maintaining a high polish reduces the problem.
Manufacturers continue to introduce new zirconia materials to address the question of esthetics and laboratory owners are taking note. “The days of using 20 different porcelains to build up a tooth, as the first option, are long gone. You can get esthetics out of full contour,” said renowned ceramist Lee Culp, CDT, CTO at DTI-Dental Technologies, Inc., speaking in Chicago in 2013.
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