Lava Ultimate

Technical advances in hardware, software, and materials provide dentists with new and improved options for indirect prosthetic treatments. CAD/CAM technologies are becoming more versatile and robust, and offer more options to dentists and ODL technicians for fabricating dental prosthetics. Fueling this trend are the development of intra-oral scanning, faster and more accurate milling machines, and stronger, tougher CAD/CAM materials.

In recent years, perhaps the biggest driver in new material development is the desire to improve crown and bridge esthetics compared to the traditional porcelain-fused-to-metal or all-metal restorations. As such, zirconia, lucite-containing glass ceramics, and lithium disilicate glass ceramics have become prominent in the dental practice. Each material type performs differently regarding strength, toughness, ease of machining, and the final preparation of the material prior to placement. Location of production (e.g. chairside or at ODL) also determines material selection. For example, glass ceramics are typically weaker materials which limits its use to single-unit restorations; however mill times are relatively short, enabling chairside production. On the other hand, zirconia has a high fracture toughness which enables multi-unit restorations; however this material requires a long sintering procedure which excludes its use for fast chairside production.

3M™ ESPE™ Lava™ Ultimate CAD/CAM Restorative is a “new to the world” CAD/CAM product utilizing 3M’s revolutionary nanoceramic technology. This new material, called a Resin Nano Ceramic (RNC), is unique in durability and function. The material is not a resin or composite. It is also not a pure ceramic. The material is a mixture of both and primarily consists of ceramic. Like a composite, the material is not brittle and is fracture resistant. Like a glass ceramic, the material has excellent polish retention for lasting esthetics. These unique qualities enable the material to be named with the Lava™ brand, 3M ESPE’s premier brand for digital materials. This new material is highly heat cured through a controlled, proprietary manufacturing process, which eliminates the need for a firing step after milling. The material is easily machined chairside or in a dental lab, polishes quickly to an esthetic finish and if necessary, can be further adapted using light-cure restoratives.

Lava Ultimate CAD/CAM blocks perform similarly to or better than glass ceramic and composite materials. Lava Ultimate CAD/CAM restorative’s high fracture toughness, flexural strength and resiliency, assure that milled restorations will exhibit excellent durability. This enables 3M ESPE to offer an industry-leading 10-year warranty.

Lava Ultimate restorative is available as a block for chairside systems (eg. CEREC® and E4D) and as finished restorations from lab systems (Straumann® CARES®). 3M ESPE also plans to make the material available for Lava™ Milling Centers.

Benefits of Lava Ultimate Restorative:

  • Faster procedure compared to other CAD/CAM materials, firing is not required. Milling, polishing, and adjustments are easier
  • Durability and shock absorption characteristics form a unique combination of mechanical properties
  • Intra-oral adjustability with light cured restoratives


  • Nano Resin Ceramic
  • Tough, resilient, and durable with a 10 year warranty
  • Amazing esthetics, strength, and functionality
  • Uniquely adjustable with additive or subtractive techniques
  • Excellent stain and plaque resistance


  • Crowns
  • Crowns over implants
  • Veneers
  • Inlays/Onlays


*3M Lava Ultimate restorations have a turnaround of 6-9 days.

Lava Ultimate