jim glidewell obsidian

Investing in the Future of Dentistry with Glidewell Dental

By Jim Glidewell

Providing restorative solutions is just a part of the work we do here at Glidewell Dental. When I opened my lab 47 years ago, I wasn’t just interested in the here and now. I wanted to emphasize new discoveries in dentistry, as a means of improving the quality of care while reducing unnecessary costs to practitioners and their patients.

The digital age has forced dentistry into a state of constant adaptation. Gone are the days of one material presiding over the others for more than 50 years. With so many exciting new tools becoming available, I felt it was time to do something about the longstanding limitations of the traditional PFM. That’s why I decided to continue growing our R&D Department and investing more into this area of the business.

With that, we’ve developed two game-changing materials over the past decade. At over 14 million units placed since 2009, BruxZir Solid Zirconia® is one of our most well-known restorative options. Nevertheless, I have to say that Obsidian® Fused to Metal is perhaps the proudest achievement of our R&D department to date. We knew all along that zirconia might not be suitable for all indications, so, hand in hand with its development, I decided to have our material scientists look into a lithium silicate glass that would prove more reliable than the porcelains traditionally used in bilayered restorations.

After eight years in the making, our brilliant team revealed Obsidian lithium silicate, a monolithic ceramic that can also be used over metal substructures. This material is four times stronger than any conventional porcelain. We believe in it so much that, as of 2017, we’ve completely eliminated the use of feldspathic porcelain in our lab, replacing it with this new lithium silicate glass.

Over four million dollars’ worth of our sales were put back into the business solely for the purpose developing Obsidian into the esthetic, strong, fracture-resistant solution it is today.

That said, this restorative material exists because of your trust in us. I can proudly disclose that your prescriptions from Glidewell Dental are considered investments into the future of dentistry. Your participation supports over 100 full-time researchers, engineers, scientists, chemists, and other vital team members, who are developing the latest materials, technology, and techniques. By putting your faith in Glidewell, we are able to adapt quickly and bring you better restorations than ever before.

We’re looking toward the future of stronger PFMs. After placing thousands of units, we now know that Obsidian is the way to achieve that.

At Glidewell, we strive to change the dental industry by creating crowns and bridges that provide strength, better margins, beautiful esthetics, durability, and an affordable price. We owe everything to the doctors who support us and have confidence in the Glidewell name. As the founder and president, I will say that as long as we continue to have our customers’ support, my mission is to continue pushing the boundaries through our R&D department in terms of what we can do for the future of dentistry.

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