When I started placing ceramic veneers back in the heyday of the esthetic revolution that was the mid-1990s, I chose Variolink® to place my IPS Empress® veneers (Ivoclar Vivadent). Fast-forward to 2015 and currently 94 percent of the veneers we fabricate here in the lab are IPS e.max® (Ivoclar Vivadent) while Empress has fallen to 6 percent, primarily because e.max is three times as strong and nearly as esthetic. And during that time, Variolink has continued to evolve. It’s safe to say it has now caught up to e.max with Variolink Esthetic, which is available in both light-curing (for veneers) and dual-curing (for crowns) versions.
Variolink Esthetic’s Effect shade concept is a game changer for esthetic cements. There are five shades available in the Effect shade system: neutral, light, light plus, warm and warm plus. The neutral shade is the most translucent and is the shade I always start with at try-in. If the stump shade is negatively affecting the final shade of the crown, you can use one of two less translucent cements that add a subtle darkening (or yellowing) effect, which are the warm shades. You can also use one of two less translucent cements that add a subtle brightening (or whitening) effect, which are the light shades. The two plus shades, light plus and warm plus, provide the least amount of translucency, allowing you more control over the final ceramic shade.
You’ve no doubt upgraded your esthetic restorative material in the last five years; it’s time to do the same thing with your esthetic cement.