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Lab Communication

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Communication is the number one key principle because it sets out expectations, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship between dental professionals, with the goal of ensuring a successful outcome for the patient.

General Communication

Please return any lab telephone calls to
your office promptly. Calls are necessary to clarify technical issues that have halted case production. Once we have clarified the required details, the case will be promptly placed back into production.

RX Scripts

Specific information is critical to ensure that a case is delivered as expected.

  • Ensure you have a contact number and address especially if you have multiple offices.

  • A due date of ASAP will require our lab to contact your office and thereby potentially slow down production time. Please be specific.

  • Request a due date for a case which is the day before the patient appointment.

  • Tooth and stump shades are vital.


Photos are great for showing contours and characterizations but colour matching requires more specific information. Refer to our notes
on taking shades on page 8. When sending a photo for a shade, please include the shade tab in the photo for reference purposes. Images can be sent to (for our Toronto lab) or (for our Burlington lab) so that we can upload them into our Lab Management system for production reference.


Please include a copy of the letter you receive from the oral surgeon which will provide us with the implant specifications needed for ordering the appropriate hardware.


We encourage all of our clients to visit the
lab and meet our team of technicians which is mutually beneficial to our ongoing relationship.

Lab Production Time


We endeavour to accommodate all of our clients as fairly and promptly as possible. The following timeframes are what we use for production, however, we are aware that there are circumstances that require some flexibility with dates. We encourage our clients to call and discuss reasonable alternative timeframes.


  • Statutory holidays and weekends are NOT included in lab production schedule.

  • Add an extra production day for statutory holidays.

  • Pickup and delivery days are NOT included in lab production schedule.

  • Same day repairs must be called in BEFORE 9am.

  • Please prebook for full arch and full mouth reconstruction cases.

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In-Office Shade Selection Tips

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  • Select the shade at the beginning of the appointment, due to the fact that teeth dehydrate very quickly.

  • Ensure the patient is sitting upright or standing. This will help with exposing the teeth to the most natural light.

  • Ensure that the shade tab is at the same level as the teeth for accurate colour.

  • If the patient is bleaching, please wait 2 weeks for the colour to stabilize.

  • Use neutral colours for the patient bibs, like light blue or grey as they are restful to the eyes and enhance our ability to perceive the parameters of shade selection.

  • If a patient is wearing lipstick, ask them to remove it.

  • Do not expose teeth to direct light. Preferable to take shades in a room with a window or colour corrected lights (CRI rating of 100 and a 5500k colour temperature)

  • Stump shades – critical for e.max crowns, veneers and translucent zirconia. Please stipulate on Rx if stump shade is dark grey or black.

  • It is always a good idea to ask your assistant or hygienist for a second opinion to confirm the shade.

  • Take a digital photo and send to the lab. Please ensure the shade tab is INCLUDED in the photo.

Remember that shade tabs are affected over time by sterilization and exposure to chemicals in the operatory, so replace them on a routine basis to maintain colour accuracy.

VITA® Shade Guides can be steam autoclaved up to a maximum temperature of 284° F (140°C).

Autoclave instructions: Use of a dry autoclave will damage the Shade Guides and will void any warranty. Follow the manufacturer instructions for autoclave cycle times.

NOTE: The base of Classical Shade Guides with the raised lettering of the word “Vitapan” cannot withstand autoclave. These holders must be treated with surface disinfectants only.

Surface disinfection: Follow the disinfectant manufacturers instructions for proper use of surface disinfectants of VITA Shade Guides. Disinfectants with Phenols, accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, Iodine, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, or Chloroform have been shown to damage the Shade Guides and should be avoided when possible.

Intra-Oral Scanning Tips


  • Capture the entire anterior region so that the restoration matches existing dentition. 

  • Do a pre-prep scan of the tooth or temporary crown to aid in design.


  • Capture at least two teeth on either side of prepared tooth to ensure restoration fits within the existing dentition.

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Proper tissue management to ensure accurate margin marking

Smooth scan of prepped tooth and adjacent teeth to allow for ideal design

Capture as much of the arch as possible in bite scan for accurate articulation

Getting the Best Possible Scan

Moisture Control

  • Dry prep and adjacent teeth with air to eliminate distortion caused by saliva

  • Use cotton, saliva ejectors and other dental absorbents to keep mouth dry during scanning

  • Keep the camera of the scanning tip dry and clean at all times

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Tissue Management

  • Adequate gingiva retraction, or use of a laser enables accurate scanning of the margin line

  • Subgingival margins are hard for the scanner to capture unless tissue management technique is precise 

  • The two-cord retraction technique or use of a laser is highly recommended for a visible margin line

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Efficient Shade Taking

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Remove the VITA Valueguide 3D-MASTER from the opened Linearguide.

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Use the VITA Valueguide 3D-MASTER to make an initial choice by comparing the shade samples with the natural tooth. Determine which degree of lightness from 0 to 5 matches the tooth shade.


If you are sending pictures to the lab please take a photo of the tooth AND the shade tab in the same photo.

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Based on your initial choice, take the corresponding VITA Chroma / Hueguide 3D-MASTER (0/1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) out of the plastic box and determine the chroma and the hue.

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You have determined the suitable tooth shade quickly and reliably in just two steps. 


  • A fast and precise way to achieve the correct tooth shade in just two steps

  • Systematic arrangement and modern design for a simple, self-explanatory application

  • Clear organization of the shade samples in terms of lightness, chroma, and hue

  • 26 natural and systematically arranged tooth shades and three additional shades for tooth whitening (VITA Bleached Shades)

  • Possibility of creating intermediate shades by mixing

Crown & Bridge Materials

Crown preparation guides for various materials

Lithium Disilicate
1.0 mm - 1.5 mm
1.5 mm - 2.0 mm
Porcelain Fused to Zirconia
1.0 mm - 2.0 mm
1.5 mm - 2.0 mm
Porcelain Fused to Metal
1.5 mm
1.5 mm - 2.0 mm
Full Contour Zirconia
1.0 mm
1.0 mm
Full Gold
0.5 mm
0.5 mm - 1.0 mm

Crown preparation guides for various materials

Lithium Disilicate

IPS e.max Press
IPS e.max CAD
Cementation System
Variolink Esthetic, Multilink Automix
SpeedCEM Plus, Vivaglass CEM
60 s with Monobond Plus
Option 1: Agitate Monobond Etch & Prime for 20 s and allow it to react for another 40 s
Option 2: 20 s with IPS Ceramic Etching Gel
Cementation Method
Thin veneers, veneers, occlusal veneers, inlays, onlays, partial crowns, minimally invasive crowns.
Crowns, 3 unit bridges up to the 2nd premolar

Zirconia-based restorations

Zirconia-based restorations can be luted but generally don’t bond as the zirconia does not acid etch. Resin cements can be used, as can resin-modified glass ionomer cements. Because micromechanical retention can’t be achieved with conventional etching, that leaves fine-grit aluminum oxide (50 um @ 2 bar) sandblasting to create mechanical retention. A bonding agent (or self-adhesive resin cement) that contains the MDP monomer will provide the best bond strength to the zirconia surface.

There is some suggestion that cleaning the zirconia surface with NaOCl or a commercial product like Ivoclean will expose the oxide layer and provide a stronger bond strength, but this hasn’t necessarily been substantiated in the literature.

Lastly, there has been introduced primers designed to improve bonds strengths to Zirconia. Panavia SA cement is one such product.

Alternately, one can use conventional cementation.
The preparation geometry plays a vital role in long-term longevity of these crowns. Having adequate resistance and retention form is extremely important to prevent crown dislodgement and/or secondary caries.

Preparation Guide For IPS e.max

For IPS e.max restorations

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For IPS Empress restorations

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Anterior Chairside Preparation Guide

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Zirconia Preparation Guide

Preparation guidelines for crowns and bridges are similar to the guidelines clinicians use for all-ceramic restorations. General preparation guidelines for zirconia include the following:

  • Preparation should follow the anatomy of the tooth, providing at least the minimum thickness required for the respective restoration. Axial and occlusal reduction of 1.0mm is considered ideal for full-contour zirconia restorations.

  • A definitive finish line (i.e., shoulder with rounded intern line angles or chamfer margin) is recommended. Feather-edge preparations are acceptable for restorations. 

  • All sharp edges and line angles should be rounded. 

  • Avoid undercuts, 90-degree shoulders, and gutter preparations. 

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Ideal Chamfer Margins - Posterior

Occlusal reduction of 1.0mm ideal

Rounded internal line angles.

Taper between 4 and 8 degrees.

Axial reduction of 0.5mm to 1.5mm.

Reduction of 0.5mm at the gingival margin. 

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Ideal Chamfer Margins - Anterior

Chamfer/shoulder preparation or feather edge. 

Rounded internal line angles. 

Incisal reduction of 1.0.. to 1.5mm. 

Axial reduction of 1.0mm.

Reduction of at least 0.5mm at the gingival margin. 

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Feather-Edge Margin

Feather-edge margin of greater than or equal to 0.5mm gingival reduction. 

One significant advantage of this restoration is that the preparation can be more conservative than other all-ceramic or even metal-ceramic restorations, with a preparation design similar to that of a full cast gold crown. The amount of space required will vary slightly depending on the detail of occlusal morphology expected in the outcome.​​

Margin design:

  • 0.5 mm chamfer

  • This allows for a more accurate mill of the pre-sintered zirconia.

  • If a knife or feather-edge preparation is established instead of a chamfer, a restoration can be milled but there is a slightly higher risk of chipping the pre- sintered zirconia during the milling process.

Functional cusp reduction:

  • It is recommended to reduce the functional cusp 1.0-1.5 mm.

  • This allows for possible changes in crown morphology and possible alteration of the occlusion.

Axial wall reduction:

  • It should taper 6-8 degrees from the margin to the occlusal 1/3, achieving a depth of 1.0 mm.

  • All transitional edges, angles, and corners must be rounded.

Occlusal reduction:​

  • Central groove should be reduced 1.0 - 1.5 mm.

  • This allows space for developing occlusal anatomy. The resulting central groove crown thickness may be as thin as 0.5 mm once the anatomy is added, yet there is still adequate strength to the restoration. If the occlusal reduction space created is less than 1.0 mm, the morphology will typically become saucer shaped and the technician is forced to scratch the surface to provide some sort of anatomy rather than creating a more natural appearance.

The resulting thickness of the zirconia restoration will impact the masking ability of a discolored underlying prepared tooth. The thinner the zirconia the more translucent it will be, allowing the underlying tooth substrate to impact the esthetics of the final outcome. Increasing the thickness of the zirconia (increasing the depth of the tooth reduction) will mask the discoloration but will increase the relative opacity of the zirconia because it is a monolithic restoration. It may therefore appear higher in value or brighter, than adjacent natural teeth or other restorations.

Lab Communication
Lab Production Time
In-Office Shade Selection Tips
Intra-Oral Scanning Tips
Efficient Shade Taking
Crown & Bridge Materials
Preparatin Guide for IPS e.max
Zirconia Preparation Guide

Implant Impressions

Dental implants have become a mainstay of restorative dentistry. With the introduction of lower cost dental implants, and the increasing number of implants placed, more and more patients will present to dental offices for implant therapy. Once osseointegration has been successful, the restorative dentist must accurately capture the positional information of the implant in order to restore it. 

There are a number of ways of doing so, ranging from the simple to the complex. Techniques that

are better suited to single implant restoration may not be accurate enough to restore multiple implants to be splinted. There are two fundamental ways of recording implant position, the closed-tray technique and the open-tray technique.

Closed-Tray Impression Technique

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Step 1 : The first step to any technique is to make sure that the implant has adequately integrated, and the appropriate parts have been ordered. Generally speaking the parts needed are the impression coping, and an analog. 

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Step 2 : The healing abutment should be removed, and the closed tray impression coping seated and hand tightened. Ensure that the indices have properly lined up when seating as there won't necessarily be a "click" with some implant systems

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Step 3 : It is important to take a radiograph to ensure that the impression coping has properly seated. This is especially important when dealing with implants that have been placed deep. 

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Step 4 : Prior to registering an impression, it is important to block off the hex with wax so that the component can be reseated accurately into the impression. 

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Step 5 : An adequately fitted tray is used to register an impression of the arch (including the impression coping). When removing the tray, the impression coping will stay engaged to the implant. The impression coping is designed with indices to allow it to be placed back into the impression aligned in a specific way. 

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Step 6 : The next step is to remove the closed tray impression coping from the implant and replace the healing abutment. Upon removing the impression coping from the mouth, it should be tightly screwed to a lab analog. Once it has been connected, the impression coping (with the attached lab analog) should be very carefully seated back into the impression. This step can be done by the dentist, but is often done by the lab under a microscope to ensure full seating. At this point the impression can be poured by the lab and a restoration fabricated. 

Open-Tray Impression Technique

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Step 1 : The first step is identical to the closed-tray technique. Verify osseointegration and make sure the appropriate parts have been ordered. for open-tray impression copings, most implant companies fabricate them in a short and a long size. The short is usually used in the posterior where there is limited inter-arch apace, and the long is typically used in the anterior.

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Step 2 : As with the closed-tray technique, the healing abutment should be removed, and the open-tray impression coping is seated and hand-tightened.

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Step 3 : A verification film should be taken to ensure adequate seating. 

The next step is where things differ.

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Step 4 : A plastic tray of appropriate size is chosen. A window needs to be made in the tray where the impression coping will emerge. This window needs to be of adequate size to allow some give for the impression tray to be seated. It is recommended that this window be covered in a thin layer of wax (baseplate, or rope wax). The wax will contain the impression material while the tray is being seated. It will also provide a visual indication of where the coping is going to emerge. 

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Step 5 : The tray is loaded with impression material and the impression is taken. As the tray is being seated, the coping should be visualized pushing through the wax. It is important that the coping is visible before the impression material sets otherwise retrieving the post will be very onerours. 

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Step 6 : Once the impression material has set, the impression coping should be unscrewed and the impression removed. The analog can be placed on the impression coping (that has been picked up by the impression) at this time or sent to the lab with the impression to be done there


For the single implant crown restoration, both techniques are equally accurate (according to published literature). For multiple units that will be splinted, it is advised that the open-tray impression technique be used as the copings can be connected for improved accuracy and picked up in one impression. 

Implant Impressions

Implant-Retained Restorative Options

Overdenture w/ LOCATORS®

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  • Minimally invasive, yet affordable (typically 2 implants on lower / 2-4 on upper, LOCATOR® attachments)

  • Implant-retained, tissue supported

  • Denture connects to LOCATOR® attachments, yet still rests and is mainly supported by tissue

  • Removable by patient

  • Provides additional retention and significantly reduces denture mobility

  • Can retrofit existing denture to “pick up” LOCATOR® attachments

  • Implants help to preserve the shape/volume of existing ridge (proximal to implant locations)

  • Denture still slightly mobile

  • Increased maintenance required (cleaning of food particles around implants/attachments in denture)

  • Easier to maintain for patient

Bar-Supported Overdenture

  • Implant-retained, implant-supported (sometimes bar overdenture will also be supported by tissue in posterior)

  • Denture has metal “coping” or “sleeve” which fits directly onto milled bar: retention is achieved either mechanically or via LOCATOR® attachments

  • Often chosen if patient’s ridges are greatly resorbed, and additional lip support is needed

  • Removable by patient

  • Splinted bar provides improved stress distribution

  • Nylon retention inserts last longer

  • More expensive: 4-6 implants (typically), additional lab costs for denture – possibly SRA’s plus bar

  • Maintenance – routine, thorough cleaning by patient necessary

  • Though fixed, sometimes still made of same material as conventional denture (acrylic base, plastic teeth)

  • Can require significantly more space vertically to achieve esthetics and function

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Fixed Hybrid

  • More expensive: 4-6 implants (typically), additional lab costs for denture – SRA’s, bars, “conversion fee”

  • Implant retained & supported (prosthesis typically not in contact with tissue)

  • Bar is processed/embedded within the denture

  • More esthetically pleasing – vestibular flanges removed

  • Not removable by patient

  • Maintenance: routine, thorough cleaning by patient necessary

  • Though fixed, still made of same material as a conventional denture (acrylic base, plastic teeth)

  • Removed by Dentist for cleaning every 6 months

Full Arch Zirconia

  • Implant retained, implant supported (prosthesis typically not in contact with tissue)

  • Cementable or screw-retained

  • Newer options allow for 2-piece, removable prosthesis (Paris bar)

  • Most esthetic

  • Greatest functionality

  • Most expensive option: typically 6-8+ implants, metal or zirconia substructure, porcelain directly veneered to substructure

  • Maintenance: routine, thorough cleaning by patient necessary

  • Expensive to repair

  • Removed by Dentist for cleaning every 6 months

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CAD/CAM Subperiosteal

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The CAD/CAM Subperiosteal ImplantTM requires a single stage surgery, making the patient experience less invasive. The proven design increases initial stability and ensures easy insertion and fixation.

An Unsolved Problem

Previously there was no predictable solution for the partially edenulous patients who lack bone in the posterior area without sacrificing their healthy anterior teeth. The lack of bone and the low success rate of vertical bone grafting in this area led them to alternative removable solutions such as partials, which reduced their quality of life.

Your Solution

The Panthera CAD/CAM Subperiosteal ImplantTM is intended to be used for the lower jaw in patients who are partially edentulous with Kennedy class I, II and III and with bone type of division C-h. The implant is designed for the mandible in situations of severe vertical bone atrophy of the posterior ridges.

Implant-Retaned Restorative Options
CAD/CAM Subperiosteal
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