CAD/CAM composite blocs

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COLTENE’s Mark Allen discusses CAD/CAM composite blocs – what they can do for you

Computer-assisted fabrication (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing or CAD/CAM) offers high levels of strength and increased accuracy for the fabrication of durable indirect restorations. In some cases, it can even bypass the requirement for traditional impression taking, creating a much more streamlined workflow, improving accuracy, speed, and aesthetics.

The continuously trending drive towards CAD/CAM has also led to improvements in the restorative materials, and research indicates the many benefits to both patient and practitioner in using composite CAD/CAM blocs over other materials and techniques.

The polymerisation modes used for CAD/CAM composite blocs – with high temperature and/or high pressure – are believed to greatly increase the degree of conversion compared to light-cured composites [1]. Advances made in current composite blocs have allowed the augmentation of the filler content and a more homogenous structure with fewer flaws. Toxicity and monomer release have also been shown to be low [2].

With its higher flexural strength and elasticity values similar to those of dentine, the microstructure of many CAD/CAM composite blocs means masticatory forces are often lessened too. This helps increase functional comfort for patients while chewing and reduces the likelihood of fractures, providing longer-lasting results, enduring comfort, and ultimate functionality.

The better the CAD/CAM composite bloc the better the filler ratio and lower the modulus of elasticity, which will have an impact on abrasion qualities. That’s why – for patients suffering from bruxism or looking to have an implant-supported crown – CAD/CAM composite restorations can provide a more successful outcome. Thanks to these qualities, high-performance composite blocs have been shown to rival CAD/CAM materials made solely from glass-ceramic when selected for bonded partial restorations and crowns on natural teeth and implants [1].

CAD/CAM composites exhibit excellent machinability and can be milled to very fine thicknesses [3]. In the future this might pave the way for the development of minimally invasive treatment strategies, such as ‘no prep’ treatment for worn dentition.

Of materials currently available, and thanks to its unrivalled shock-absorbing qualities, high flexural strength and high resistance, COLTENE’s BRILLIANT Crios reinforced composite bloc shows significant benefits to both patient and practitioner. Its broad application qualities make it not only ideal for everyday procedures in the dental practice, but also a quality restorative treatment solution for patients with bruxism or implant-supported crowns.

BRILLIANT Crios has a great lustre and blends in extremely well with surrounding dentition to provide patients with a natural, aesthetically pleasing smile.


Mark Allen is General Manager at COLTENE.To find out more visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01444 235486


1] Mainjot AK, Dupont NM, Oudkerk JC, Dewael TY, Sadoun MJ. From Artisanal to CAD-CAM Blocks: State of the Art of Indirect Composites. J Dent Res. May 2016; 95 (5): 487-95. Accessed online 15 November 2017 at 
2] Mainjot AK. Recent advances in composite CAD/CAM blocks. The International Journal of Esthetic Dentistry. 2016; 11(2). Accessed online 15 November 2017 at 
3] Ruse ND, Sadoun MJ. Resin-composite blocks for dental CAD/CAM applications. J Dent Res. December 2014; 93 (12): 1232-4. Accessed online 15 November 2017 at