3M™ Lava™ Ultimate - resin nanoceramics for dental technology

The resin nanoceramics 3M™ Lava™ Ultimate is a product from the dental division of 3M. The American group took over the German family business ESPE GmbH from Seefeld, founded in 1948, as early as 2001. In December 2009, ESPE Dental AG was then fully integrated into the American group. "ESPE Dental AG" and "3M Dental" became "3M ESPE". In 2016 the "ESPE" was deleted from the company name. The dental division of the American group now also falls under the 3M brand. 

In 2011 the new resin nanoceramic block 3M™ ESPE™ Lava™ Ultimate, still under the name 3M ESPE, was introduced.

Indications of 3M™ Lava™ Ultimate

The Lava™ Ultimate Blocks are approved for the CAD/CAM-supported production of inlays, onlays and veneers. For a good and reliable result, the following edge and wall thicknesses should be observed in the CAD-supported design.

Edge thickness: 0.40 mm
Wall thickness: 0.60 mm

The material Lava™ Ultimate from 3M™ was originally approved for crowns in addition to inlays, onlays and veneers. According to the manufacturer, the restoration material should no longer be used for crowns, since in this case there is a risk of debonding (loosening of the restoration from the prepared die). With inlays, onlays and veneers, the chewing forces are distributed to a different extent, so that there is less stress on the restoration and therefore no risk of debonding.

Lava™ Ultimate CAD/CAM restorative material must be cemented with an adhesive composite luting cement.

3M in the CADdent material portfolio

Benefits of 3M™ Lava™ Ultimate

The dental material Lava™ Ultimate is neither a composite nor a plastic, nor a pure ceramic. The main component of the material composition is the ceramic, which has been mixed with plastic particles. Lava™ Ultimate combines the advantages of both dental materials - ceramic and plastic.

Like composite materials, Lava™ Ultimate is not brittle and has a high breaking strength. The modulus of elasticity of Lava™ Ultimate is similar to dentine, which is also reflected in its low brittleness. Restorations made from this special material are also very low-wear and protect the antagonist. 

On the other hand, Lava™ Ultimate restorations, similar to ceramic restorations, are characterized by high gloss retention and long-lasting aesthetics. Because it is easy to process and can be polished quickly, working with Lava™ Ultimate is particularly efficient.

The combination of composite and ceramic materials results in very good durability and shock absorption. The blocks - to be used in CAD/CAM dental technology  – are also completely polymerized in a protected manufacturing process, which makes firing after the grinding process unnecessary.

Further information*


Bio Classic       








PEEK (Polyetheretherketon)      

100 %        

ca. 80 %       ca. 80 % > 90 %
Titanium dioxide (TiO2


< 20 % < 20 % < 5 %

further additives

< 0,01 % < 0,1 %  < 1 % < 1 %



Unit of measurement    




Flexural strength (Weibull)        MPa  186,6          
Water absorption µg / mm3 4,66    
Solubility µg / mm3 -0,1     



Unit of measurement    




Flexural strength (Weibull)        MPa  186,6          
Water absorption µg / mm3 4,66    
Solubility µg / mm3 -0,1     

* source:
3M™ ESPE™ LAVA™ ULTIMATE Verarbeitungsanleitung