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Overview Dentist Lab Patient Products Resources Lava™ Milling Centres Lava Accredited Labs Authorised Lava Provider The Difference

Lava™ Precision solutions

We integrate digital technology and material science in an intuitive way to help dentists and labs improve productivity while offering superior oral care.

Lava™ Precision Solutions

Authenticate your Lava Restoration

Lava™ restorations come with a Genuine Lava sticker so you will know there's a genuine Lava framework underneath the porcelain artistry.

Lava™ Warranty

Lava™ Warranty Claim Process and Forms

Lava™ Precision Solutions

It's easy to offer

It's easy for dentists and labs to offer Lava™ restorations without investing in hardware.

Lava™ Indications


Get more from your Lava investment. Tap into resources available from 3M ESPE.

Lava Before and After photos

Photography courtesy of Ariel Raigrodski, DMD, MS

Every day more dentists ask their lab for the Lava brand from 3M ESPE. Lava restorations are made with Lava zirconia and are designed and milled with the innovative Lava CAD/CAM system. The combination of materials and precision milling produces a strong restoration with an excellent marginal fit.

Lava™ Precision solutions

3M ESPE believes there is more to a partnership than just selling equipment. It is about consistency, security and support.

Lava™ Precision Solutions

It's easy to offer

It's easy for dentists and labs to offer Lava™ restorations without investing in hardware.

Lava™ Business models

Flexible business models for labs

3M ESPE offers three business models that make it possible for any size of lab to offer genuine Lava™.

Lava™ Milling


  • 3M has 100+ years manufacturing excellence
  • Doctors ask for the Lava™ Brand by name
  • Precision CAD/CAM system

Lava™ Milling


  • 3M ESPE help grow your business with technical service and educational resources
  • 3M ESPE helps grow your business with business planning, marketing and sales support

Lava™ Crowns and Bridges

Give your smile a Brighter Future

You need a restoration. So what is a restoration?

An indirect restoration, also called a crown or bridge, is used to cover or replace a tooth that is broken, discolored, badly shaped or has too much decay for a filling

  • The restoration is fitted over the original tooth after any decay has been removed
  • The right restoration will look, feel and last like your natural teeth

What materials can be used for a restoration?


Alloy of metals with either silver or gold appearance. Does not mimic look of real teeth. The traditional restoration used for decades.


Porcelain, fused to an underlying metal structure. Comes closer to the look of real teeth than metal restorations. Metal substructure limits translucency sometimes resulting in restorations looking dull and lifeless.

Zirconium Oxide

Zirconium Oxide
Achieves the beauty and translucency of natural teeth. Produces strong, durable restorations. Could be an alternative for those who have concerns about metal.

Lava™ Crowns and Bridges.
Natural beauty that brings out the same in you.

  • Lava™ Zirconia restorations are an ideal alternative to porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) restorations
  • Lava zirconia restorations provides the translucency and beauty of your natural teeth
  • Lava zirconia could be an alternative for those who have concerns about metal

Lava™ Crowns and Bridges.
An investment that helps you live comfortably.

  • Precision computer design ensures Lava restorations fit well, and feel comfortable
  • 3M ESPE is committed to providing materials and solutions that are safe and effective for use.

Lava™ Crowns and Bridges.
Beauty that lasts like no other restoration.

Lava™ Crowns and Bridges
Over time, metal restorations can
leave a dark ridge where the gums recede.

Lava™ Crowns and Bridges
With Lava zirconia, your restoration
retains its original beauty for years.

To view the features of these products, move your cursor over the highlighted areas for additional information.

For Labs

Lava™ Warranty Claim Form and Process

Lava™ Lab Catalogue (PDF, 3.8MB)

Instructions/Technical Information

Handling and Prep Guide for Lava™ Restorations (PDF, 834KB) - Detailed instructions for dentists and labs

Handling Guide for Cementation and Sterilization (PDF, 964KB)

Lava™ Procedure Video (WMV, 12.2MB) - View the clinical procedure

Lava™ Technical Product Profile (PDF, 826KB)

Lava™ Flyer (PDF, 419KB) - A general overview for dentists.

Scientific/Clinical Information

Lava™ Zirconia Scientific Facts (PDF, 1.3MB)

A Collection of Scientific Results (PDF, 1.5MB) - A collection of published research studies

For a complete list of authorised Lava™ Milling Centres and Lava™ Design Centres click here. (PDF 143KB)

Southern Cross Dental Laboratory

19 Bay Street
Double Bay NSW 2028
Fax: 02 93621199

After eight years of clinical experience and millions of restorations, Lava™ Zirconia remains #1 in the U.S. for CAD/CAM based restorations.

Not all zirconia restorations are the same

  • Study cited proved that unsupported Ivoclar zirconia restorations perform poorly (~3 month lifetime)
  • Studies and real-world data with Lava™ Zirconia show very different results


Proper support of porcelain is key to zirconia restoration success


Lithium disilicate is not the universal
restoration material

IPS e.max ZirCAD zirconia restorations were
designed without support in study*

Ivoclar Study

Poor design example
(unsupported porcelain)

* IPS e.max ZirCAD zirconia
restoration used in recent study

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 1.25MB)

IPS, Ivoclar, e.max, Vivadent and ZirCAD are not trademarks of 3M.

In-vitro studies with Lava™ Zirconia show very
different results than the study cited by
Ivoclar Vivadent

3M ESPE internal data. * Minimum occlusal thickness acc. to IPS e.max CAD IFU is 1.5 mm vs. 1.1 mm
for Lava DVS

video file Video Overview (WMV, 1.06MB)

IPS, Ivoclar, e.max and Vivadent are not trademarks of 3M.

Real World data Chart

"Data Source: Glidewell Laboratories

  • Includes porcelain chips and fractures
  • Fabricated between 7/1/08 and 9/30/08
  • Fracture data 12 months after fabrication
  • 34,953 total restorations

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 962KB)

3M, ESPE and Lava are trademarks of 3M or 3M ESPE AG. Used under license in Canada.
All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Proper Porcelain Support is Key to Zirconia Success

Design Technique Leads to Failure
Photographs from Gordon J. Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, TRAC Research Study

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 683KB)

Design Technique

  1. Full contour design.
  2. Automatic calculation of an anatomic coping with optimized porcelain support.
  3. Simultaneous calculation of virtual veneering.

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 2.8MB)

When comparing clinically relevant thicknesses, Lava Zirconia
(0,5 mm thickness) proved to be significantly more translucent
than IPS e.max CAD LT (1,5mm thickness)

Alkhunaizi, R., Pober, R., and Giordano, R., Boston University, MA, USA,
Translucency Comparison of CAD/CAM materials, Abstract #3154,
IADR 2008 Toronto.

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 862KB)

Biaxial flexural strength before and after water storage.
Sorensen, J., Synergy in Dentistry, vol. 2, No. 1, 2003

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 270KB)

IPS and Empress are not trademarks of 3M


Dynamic three-point bending strength:

  • Three point bending test with dynamically loadings (f=1 Hz, n=1E6)
    under moist conditions. Samples prepared with initial microcracks.

Geis-Gerstorfer J., et al., Dental Clinic, university of Tuebingen, Germany,
Fatigue behavior of three all ceramic materials, Abstract #3835 IADR 2002.

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 836KB)

Empress and In-Ceram are not trademarks of 3M.

A big difference in occlusal reduction

Conventional Cementation Preparation

  • IPS e.max CAD
    • Occlusal reduction of at least 2.0 mm in contact area
  • Lava Zirconia:
    • Recommended 1,5 mm
    • Can be as low as 1 mm
      (0,5 coping + 0,5 Lava Ceram)

Video file Video Overview (WMV, 962KB)