Which Porcelain System?

Probably the most frequent question we hear from laboratories new to zirconia restorations is, "which porcelain system should I be using?"

The bad news is that if you haven't made the leap to zirconia restorations yet, you'll probably have to invest in a new porcelain system.

The good news is that chances are, the manufacturer of your current system for PFMs probably also has one optimized for zirconia.  Plus, much of what you have learned with your current system could be applicable to their zirconia system!

Porcelain systems formulated for use with zirconia are required because zirconia copings and frameworks have a Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) of 10.  If your porcelain system doesn't have a CTE of close to 10, porcelain-fracturing problems will be likely.

Below is a table of common porcelain systems for zirconia. Their CTE information has been pulled from the manufacturer's datasheets or instructions for use.

Manufacturer System CTE
  Heraeus   HeraCeram Zirkonia 10.2
  Pentron   Avante Z 9.2-10.2
  3M ESPE   LavaCeram 10
  Ivoclar Vivadent   IPS e.max Ceram 9.5
  Willi Geller   Creation ZI 9.5
  Dentsply   Ceramco PFZ 9.4
  GC   Initial ZR 9.4
  Nobel Biocare   NobelRondo Zirconia 9.3
  Shofu   Vintage Zr 9.3-9.4
  Noritake   Cerabien CZR 9.1
  Vitadent   VM-9 8.8-9.2