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Proceedings Paper

A novel laser-based method for controlled crystallization in dental prosthesis materials
Author(s): Peter Cam; Beat Neuenschwander; Patrick Schwaller; Benjamin Köhli; Beat Lüscher; Florian Senn; Alain Kounga; Christoph Appert
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Paper Abstract

Glass-ceramic materials are increasingly becoming the material of choice in the field of dental prosthetics, as they can feature both high strength and very good aesthetics. It is believed that their color, microstructure and mechanical properties can be tuned such as to achieve an optimal lifelike performance. In order to reach that ultimate perfection a controlled arrangement of amorphous and crystalline phases in the material is required. A phase transformation from amorphous to crystalline is achieved by a heat treatment at defined temperature levels. The traditional approach is to perform the heat treatment in a furnace. This, however, only allows a homogeneous degree of crystallization over the whole volume of the parent glass material. Here a novel approach using a local heat treatment by laser irradiation is presented. To investigate the potential of this approach the crystallization process of SiO2-Li2O-Al2O3-based glass has been studied with laser systems (pulsed and continuous wave) operating at different wavelengths. Our results show the feasibility of gradual and partial crystallization of the base material using continuous laser irradiation. A dental prosthesis machined from an amorphous glassy state can be effectively treated with laser irradiation and crystallized within a confined region of a few millimeters starting from the body surface. Very good aesthetics have been achieved. Preliminary investigation with pulsed nanosecond lasers of a few hundreds nanoseconds pulse width has enabled more refinement of crystallization and possibility to place start of phase change within the material bulk.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 February 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9306, Lasers in Dentistry XXI, 930607 (24 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2076567
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Cam, Berner Fachhochschule Technik und Informatik (Switzerland)
Beat Neuenschwander, Berner Fachhochschule Technik und Informatik (Switzerland)
Patrick Schwaller, Berner Fachhochschule Technik und Informatik (Switzerland)
Benjamin Köhli, Berner Fachhochschule Technik und Informatik (Switzerland)
Beat Lüscher, Fachhochschule NordWestschweiz (Switzerland)
Florian Senn, Fachhochschule NordWestschweiz (Switzerland)
Alain Kounga, Institut Straumann AG (Switzerland)
Christoph Appert, Institut Straumann AG (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9306:
Lasers in Dentistry XXI
Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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