The Science of Microwave Sintering

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goldversuszirconiaDental ceramics such as Zirconia offer a desirable alternative to metals as a dental restorative material due to its aesthetic qualities, durability and biocompatibility.

Sintering ceramic substructures in a conventional oven, however, is a lengthly procedure in which a large oven must be heated to a very high temperature and then slowly cooled to prevent cracking of the ceramic material. Dental laboratories, overloaded with requests, usually take seven or more days to process the permanent dental restoration with a conventional oven. In the meantime the patient is fitted with a temporary crown. This time consuming process results in loss of work productivity, involves increased riak of morbidity to patients from problems with a temporary crown and occasional problems with improperly fitted permanent crowns.

A microwave furnace can sinter dental ceramics within 1/12th the time of a conventional oven. Microwave has the added advantage of producing better mechanical strength and resistance to low temperature degradation. Microwave is the best choice for sintering dental ceramics.

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