Press Technique turns 30

Photo: Ivoclar Vivadent

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 procedure—using it with enthusiasm and conviction.

What is the secret of the sustained success of this technique? Ivoclar Vivadent takes a look at its remarkable history.

Gold alloys used to be the go-to material for dentists and dental technicians who wished to minimise the risk of intolerance in patients.

However, these materials showed shortcomings with regard to their aesthetic appearance and wear behaviour, and they could not fulfil the growing demand for metal-free solutions.

Then, Ivoclar Vivadent came up with the visionary idea of pressing ceramic materials to produce metal-free restorations.

In 1991, the dental company from Liechtenstein introduced its ground-breaking pressed ceramic fabrication technique.

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 aesthetic restorations and the immeasurable pleasure of making people smile spurred the company on to refining the technique in terms of aesthetics, function, and strength.

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 Analogue, commented on the pioneering press ingot.

He said, “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

Dental laboratories are constantly looking for new and efficient fabrication methods to increase their profitability.

The 3D printing system PrograPrint was developed with the aim of complementing the conventional hot-pressing process.

The system is capable of carrying out certain time-consuming manufacturing steps, thereby freeing up the dental technician to perform other important tasks that require their technical skill and well-trained eye and impart the restoration with a uniqueness all of its own.

Overall, the efficiency of the dental laboratory increases due to the fact that several wax-ups can be fabricated in one printing process.

However, 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.