The integration of chairside CAD/CAM into a dental practice always brings into question what, or how many, furnaces will be needed for the same day restorative procedures CAD/CAM systems bring to the office? The evolution of chairside materials has allowed this to evolve over the past decade, so the answer today is much different than it was ten years ago.
Thanks to the popularity of zirconia, whether lab prescribed or chairside, an oven with the ability to sinter zirconia dictates your purchase decision in 2020. In the past this was not a necessary consideration. Currently there are two “open” system furnaces that will handle your restorative needs. The Programat® CS2 and the Programat® CS4 furnaces by Ivoclar Vivadent.
The Programat CS2 has been a staple in most chairside CAD/CAM offices for nearly twenty years. This oven will crystallize IPS e.max® CAD in approximately fifteen minutes as well as IPS Empress® CAD and other ceramic materials when correctly programmed. It has a vacuum so you can add and fire ceramic to increase a contact when desired or if needed. The Programat CS2 can also be used for corrective firing when color or characterization needs to be adjusted. It can manage up to six single units or two three-unit bridges in a firing cycle, and has capacity for up to twenty customizable settings.
The Programat CS4 can also manage up to six units and two three-unit bridges in a single firing cycle, and the open system allows for an additional twenty-two customized programs. It will crystallize IPS e.max CAD, as well as IPS Empress CAD and most other ceramics available in the chairside portfolio. The two functional differences between the CS2 and the CS4 are that the CS4 does not have a vacuum and it will sinter zirconia. The lack of a vacuum means you will need to re-mill a restoration if the contact is light or open, as ceramic cannot be added and fired without a vacuum. There are two sintering cycles for zirconia, 37 or 57 minutes. Like all zirconia, the longer the sintering cycle, the better the esthetics. The CS4 is slightly taller than the CS2 so it will require more clearance when opening.
The great news is that most offices can purchase just one furnace to accomplish their chairside crystallizing and sintering needs. The Programat CS4 allows an office to sinter zirconia AND crystallize IPS e.max CAD without a second oven. Solving the problem of multiple materials now available, the Programat CS4 is the only oven most new CAD/CAM offices will ever need.
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