The aim of this study was to identify current trends in the methods and materials used during teaching and construction of ceramic laminate veneers within the laboratory. A questionnaire was designed to determine the most popular laboratory techniques and materials used during the teaching and construction of ceramic veneers at a number of university dental schools and teaching hospitals in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Hong Kong, and to identify the role of technical staff. The responses showed that approximately 63% of teaching hospitals and 53% of dental schools were involved with either the construction or teaching of laboratory techniques for ceramic veneers. Of two substrate materials identified, it was clear that the use of phosphate refractory models was preferred to the platinum foil technique. A wide range of refractory and ceramic materials was reported, some of which were supplied as combined system products. However, a larger number were ceramics and refractory materials acquired from independent manufacturers and therefore not necessarily matched. Although clear information was provided by the manufacturers to identify the thermal expansion coefficient of their dental ceramic, this is not the case for most of the phosphate refractory materials. As a result, intermixing of individual ceramic and refractory products was commonplace with some combinations having different thermal expansion coefficients. To avoid this thermal mismatch, clear information relating to both products needs to be provided by the manufacturers.
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