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Released: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Expires: Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Esthetics and Strength of Dental Ceramics, With ZLS Case Studies

By J William Claytor, Jr., DDS, MAGD

Commercial Supporter: Dentsply Sirona - Restorative

In the dental ceramic industry, materials have evolved from the early 1970s with the introduction of the first glass-ceramic material to the current zirconia-containing lithium silicate (ZLS) and zirconium oxide (zirconia). The evolving industry continues to search for the ultimate combination of strength and esthetics in a dental ceramic. The challenge lies in finding the unique material that not only provides the desired esthetic result for the clinical situation but that also has enough strength to survive and endure the demands of the oral environment. This article reviews the dental ceramic materials and brands that have been available through in-office chairside CAD/CAM (blocks) and dental laboratory (press and blocks) ceramics in relation to esthetics, strength, and durability. The article concludes with a focus on the ZLS pressed material, including case studies.


  • Review the history and use of chairside CAD/CAM ceramics and dental laboratory ceramics for esthetic use.

  • Discuss the challenges of blending esthetic materials with strength when selecting a dental ceramic.

  • Compare and contrast current and relevant information as to what type of dental ceramic to use in esthetic cases.

About the Author

J. William Claytor, Jr., DDS, MAGD, Senior Associate, Shelby, North Carolina

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