June 2016
Volume 7, Issue 6

The Ultimate Diamond Polish

John O. Burgess DDS, MS, of the University of Alabama and Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD PhD, have written numerous articles about diamond-polished surfaces versus surface glazing on ceramic restorations. Moreover, numerous studies have examined tissue response to glazed versus polished porcelain. According to these articles and studies, the tissue response to polished porcelain is significantly better. The conclusions from several studies show polished zirconia is “wear-friendly” to the opposing tooth, whereas glazed zirconia causes more material and antagonist wear. The surface roughness of the zirconia was significant in the wear of the opposing dentition. As these studies are becoming more widely presented, the number of requests for polished occlusal surfaces with no surface glaze has increased significantly.

When Z-Shine Diamond Polish was first introduced, some laboratory technicians rolled their eyes because they doubted that they could get a high luster shine with a one-step diamond polish. The standard diamond polishing multi-step process includes at least two smoothing steps and then use of a felt wheel on the broad surfaces, plus the final onerous step of cleaning the polished units.

The real challenge for Danny W. Diebel CDT, FNBC, came from the occlusal surface anatomy. This process took quite a bit of extra time and was difficult compared to applying surface glaze and firing. Z-Shine from Dental Creations, Ltd. has simplified the process for the technician.

“Z-Shine Diamond Polish is the best I have ever used,” Diebel says. “All I need to put a high luster polish on lithium disilicate or milled zirconia after the bite and contacts have been completed is a No. 11 soft bristle brush wheel, Z-Shine Diamond Polish, and a slight amount of water to keep the surface wet. I have found that diamond polish works best when you keep it wet with a water spray or dip it in a small bowl of water.”

Z-Shine is specifically designed to polish 21st-century dental ceramic materials. It is unique because it works in seconds—Diebel says it took 15 seconds to mirror shine the labial surface of a maxillary central and 2 minutes to completely put a high luster shine on a full-contour molar that included the occlusal surface anatomy as well.

Another important feature of Z-Shine, Diebel says, is that a fine diamond bur can be used to create a specific surface patina. Also, when you use a No. 11 soft brush wheel, Z-Shine will put a brilliant shine to the surface porcelain without obliterating the fine surface detail of the porcelain. When desiring a mirror finish on the surface porcelain, use a small felt wheel such as the one in the Z-Shine Diamond Polish Kit (Figure 1).

“Z-Shine enables you to get a lustrous shine without over polishing the surfaces, leaving a tooth enamel surface feel,” Diebel says. “For example, Z-Shine can be used to final polish a milled zirconia bridge with no surface staining or glazing (Figure 2). Also, the layered lithium disilicate laminates Nos. 6-11 in Figure 3 are not surface glazed. To obtain a natural surface luster finish on a lithium disilicate or zirconia restoration, use a No. 11 soft brush wheel (included in the kit) and Z-Shine.”

Teeth Nos. 6 and 7 (Figure 4) are single crowns with layered zirconia using Vm9 layering and then surface finishing with Z-Shine and a No. 11 soft bristle brush wheel with no surface glazing, Diebel says. The bridge for teeth Nos. 8-11 (Figure 4) is full-contour zirconia without glaze, he says, and the lower anterior restorations, Nos. 22-27 (Figure 4) are layered porcelain feldspathic jackets that are finished by polishing the surfaces with Z-Shine diamond polish and a No. 11 soft bristle brush wheel.

“Another feature of Z-Shine, as shown in Figure 5, is that the layered lithium disilicate No. 10 restoration is polished with Z-Shine and matches the natural adjacent teeth,” Diebel says. “Once you have the surface luster you desire, the Z-Shine quickly washes off with a tooth brush and water in a few seconds. I polish all of our zirconia and lithium disilicate restorations in just a few seconds.”

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