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Do you work with laboratory composites? Today, they can be processed on a wide range of modern materials, such as zirconium oxide, PEEK and can also be used conventionally on all metals. In addition, they allow you to create esthetically pleasing results. It’s high time to acknowledge this material, which until now has generally played a more background role.

An article by Annette von Hajmasy, Master Dental Technician (Germany). Originally written for Ivoclar Vivadent Schaan.

Working with laboratory composites hasn’t always been easy. Many technicians had problems using them. The composite material is generally very sticky and is therefore prone to becoming soiled. In particular, a common and tenacious preconception was that these laboratory materials are “lifeless” and appear dull. Composites have therefore been unpopular among dental technicians for generations.

Laboratory composites: an attractive alternative material

As with many other materials, laboratory composites have been continuously developed and improved. Today, they are equally comparable to other materials for many different types of restorations in terms of their properties and also in terms of their esthetical qualities. Nowadays, laboratory composites offer a wide range of application possibilities. The fact that the material is antagonist-friendly means that it is the material of choice when it comes to, amongst other situations, creating an implant restoration. In this case, the distribution of mastication forces is crucial. The advantages of laboratory composites include their elasticity, durability and gloss stability.

Esthetically pleasing results with impressive characteristics, which include opalescence, translucency, fluorescence and brightness, can be achieved.

The variety of framework materials has increased

Finally, the wider variety of framework materials available today has subsequently changed the demands on the veneering materials. In addition to well-known materials, which include precious and non-precious metal alloys and titanium, there are now many more to choose from. For example, zirconium oxide and PEEK. Each material has specific processing criteria which must be observed in combination with the selected veneering material.

Every framework material can be veneered with composites

In principle, every framework material can be veneered with composites – as long as the bond between the composite material and the framework is implemented correctly. In reverse, every type of laboratory composite can be veneered with every type of framework material. However, material-specific properties must also be taken into account. Different composites have different degrees of filler content, flexural strength and elasticity. These, in turn, control the flexibility and therefore the brittleness of the material: The more brittle a composite is, the more likely it is to break or crack when the framework is distorted. For this reason, it is advisable to process a laboratory composite which has material properties that make it compatible for use with as many different framework materials as possible. A composite, which is sufficiently elastic, durable and has a stable gloss finish. Natural shade structure and brilliant colour effects are also important.

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SR Nexco: suitable for zirconium oxide and much more

A laboratory composite that meets these requirements is SR Nexco. If you would like to learn more about the topic of laboratory composites in general and SR Nexco in particular, I can recommend an interesting collection of technical and background articles to you. Find out how versatile SR Nexco is to process – for veneers, onlays, large-spanned removable pieces of work and implant-supported restorations. 


Learn more about  Ivoclar Vivadent Removable System

Personal information:
Annette von Hajmasy, Master Dental Technician, trained as a dental technician in Cologne/Germany. Until 1997, she worked in various laboratories in Cologne and Berlin. In 1998, she successfully completed her Master Examination. In 2002, she became self-employed and in November 2007 she opened her laboratory in Cologne. In 2016, she moved to Chiemgau in southern Germany, which is now her place of residence. The range of services she offers includes full ceramic restorations and press techniques in both ceramics and composites. A key focus of her work is facial and speech analysis in relation to dental restorations.