Zirconia – detaching the stigma
Laboratory magazine interviews dental technician Sean Wilkinson about Zirkonzahn’s workflow for zirconia restorations and how Prettau zirconia is changing the market in the UK.
Laboratory magazine: What is your role at Zirkonzahn?
Sean Wilkinson: I work in the dental technical research and development (R&D) department at the company’s headquarters in Gais, South Tyrol. I tend to work a lot on complex cases, trying to establish workflows. I test out Zirkonzahn’s new materials and really abuse them to find their limits before we put them on the market. When I am not in the R&D department, I am out lecturing, doing trade shows and client support, teaching clients, installing machines. So you can say my job is far from boring.
LM: What is Zirkonzahn’s zirconia workflow?
SW: Well, MDT Enrico Steger, Zirkonzahn’s founder and CEO, started researching zirconia in 2003. We as a company have been producing full-arch zirconia structures (Prettau bridges) since 2008 – so, it is safe to say that we know this material intimately. Zirconia is not a forgiving material, meaning that if you want to provide a long lasting restoration it needs to be thought out thoroughly. The main reason for failures is lack of planning or material stress. I remember when I was working in London years back, there was a stigma attached to zirconia. Then, most technicians I spoke to complained about breakage. Now, having worked with this material for almost 10 years I have come to realise that this was due to a lack of understanding from the materials properties. In this context, there is a study…