New Materials, Technology Help Contribute to Laboratory’s Facelift
New zirconia products, coloring technique allow wider range of capabilities
When Alexander Wünsche, CDT, and his wife, Danielle, took over Zahntechnique in 2014, they knew they needed to make some cosmetic changes to the 44-year-old dental laboratory. Zahntechnique was a respected and successful business, but it needed more modern branding, improved marketing, and perhaps most importantly, a larger space to accommodate its growing collection of CAD/CAM equipment.
“The company was strong, but we needed a bit of a facelift,” Wünsche says.
They revamped the laboratory’s logo, expanded its marketing efforts, and last year moved the operation from its 2000-square-foot facility in Miami, Florida, to a 5000-square-foot space across town. The building is relatively new, and the larger space allows Zahntechnique to more efficiently utilize its three milling machines, compressors, and supplementary equipment. Wünsche says 95% of the laboratory’s work is done using CAD/CAM processes.
“In our old building, we had reached a point at which we were basically stepping on each other’s feet,” Wünsche says. “We definitely have a smoother operation in the new facility. We have an efficient workflow, from the model room to the CAD/CAM area to the different departments from there.”
The new laboratory also includes a 1000-square-foot education facility with workbenches, cameras, video screens, and more. Wünsche’s Zahn Institute hosts training sessions every month for dentists, technicians, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, bringing in guest lecturers such as Arian Deutsch, CDT.
Additionally, Wünsche lectures around the country at least twice a month, sometimes every weekend, from September through May. Educating the entire dental team is his passion.
“Staying apprised of the latest developments in dentistry and dental technology is my top priority, besides the laboratory being profitable and us having something to eat,” Wünsche says. “I see a huge need for education in the dental field in the US, not just for technicians but for dentists also.”
When lecturing, Wünsche shares techniques and tips that help his own laboratory operate efficiently and effectively. The latest developments in zirconia are a frequent topic, and Wünsche says Amann Girrbach’s full range of zirconia products, as well as the new FASTHETIX coloring concept, are among the innovations that have had profound impacts on his laboratory.
“There are no more limits,” Wünsche says. “Each indication can be realized with the Ceramill zirconia system. These products are mind-blowing because they are making our workday significantly easier.”
Amann Girrbach’s super high-translucent Ceramill Zolid FX is ideal for bridges up to 3 units and also in the molar region, Wünsche says, along with single units when the amount of occlusal clearance presents a challenge.
“With Zolid FX, I can adjust the color before I sinter it,” Wünsche says. “I can actually give the material a different color tone instead of just an A1, A2, A3, A4, or B1. I can give a bit more incisal color or no incisal color. I can make it a little bit orange in the middle. When I sinter it, the color comes out like that. I do not have to stain and glaze from the outside. The final color is sintered into the restoration.
“That gives my restorations a different look, and it saves my customers significant amounts of money because I can use full-contour instead of layered for certain restorations and still be able to adjust the color better and differently than with lithium disilicate.”
Ceramill Zolid FX Multilayer adds even more to the equation, Wünsche says. The multilayered block of super high-translucent zirconia makes coloring unnecessary in many cases. There are no shade break lines; instead, transitions are natural, fluid, and smooth.
“I can use a standard color and already have very good colors for the incisal and dentin,” he says. “In addition, I still can add color. I can give a crown a bit of occlusal orange, or white specks or purple specks on the incisal tips. I can customize it, which is not possible with lithium disilicate, but I am starting with a good, solid color with strength and consistency.”
Dental restorative materials only prevail on the market if they convince the patient and dentist as well as the technician. Ceramill Zolid FX blanks have proven to be highly esthetic.
“This material exhibits high translucency but also the reliable properties of zirconia,” Wünsche says.
The so-called FASTHETIX coloring method, meanwhile, guarantees highly esthetic results in less than 20 seconds.
“This method is based on the dipping and brush technique for white zirconia,” Wünsche says. “It is perfectly suitable for monolithic restorations to combine esthetics with efficiency and cost-effectiveness. A natural shade gradient can be achieved quickly and easily.”
These products all help Wünsche’s laboratory back up its recent facelift by providing state-of-the-art products for its clients and patients.
“Today’s materials and technology are helping us do exciting things in the laboratory,” Wünsche says. “We are consistently adding new capabilities, which helps us provide better restorations.”
Alexander Wünsche, CDT, and Danielle Wünsche, owners of Zahntechnique in Miami, Florida.