It was in the autumn of 2000 that Professor Si of Tsinghua University received a call that few realised would have such an effect in the dental world. The new Millenium was to be the start of many new developments for dental materials. Professor Si works at Tsinghua University, holds 10 patents and has published over 50 scientific papers. He is recognised as a world expert in his field. Crucially he was also the Director of R&D for a High Tech ceramics company…
But who made the call? It was from Ms Wang, the Vice Director of R&D at another High Tech ceramics company! Ms Wang was also highly regarded in her field and had been awarded the ‘Ten Thousand Talent Program’ honour and published many papers. Both realised there was a big market for zirconia optical connectors in China.
Over many dinners plans were formed and both saw that their collaboration would be hugely productive and that many new products could be realised. And so it was that Upcera (meaning ‘Ultra Precious Ceramics’) was born. Expansion was fast with demand for ceramic sleeves ever increasing. Very soon, R&D begun into the dental materials field with exciting results…
For the dental world another input was required, so it was decided to find leading dental laboratories to work with so that this new venture was aligned to the modern requirements of dental technology. It was soon clear that dental technicians everywhere needed a mixture of sound dentistry and materials that allowed full artistic expression in order to create reliable restorations that also matched human dentition.
With these aims now clearly in view, a successful synergy of sound science combined with art had begun. New products and achievements followed quickly. The first zirconia produced by Upcera using nano powders was already more translucent than zirconias currently being used, and so it was labelled ‘HT’ meaning ‘High Translucency’. In 2009 the first open dental Cad/Cam system was brought to the Chinese market and also in the same year Upcera introduced the next level of translucency ‘ST’ or ‘Super Translucency’ for full contour restorations. In 2011, patents were taken out on even more new zirconias: this time it was an anterior grade translucency and multilayer zirconia. Upcera were now leading the world in dental ceramics development and in 2012 were the first manufacturer to launch 16 preshaded colours worldwide. In 2016 Upcera also launched the world’s first multilayer Hybrid ceramic.
Today, Upcera offer a huge range of products and materials. Laboratories can buy complete CadCam systems or just the latest materials to use in existing systems.
Upcera continues to grow and the R&D department alone now has over 40 personnel working on various new materials and products. Rapidly growing sales to more than 50 countries means Upcera, already the number three manufacturer in the world of dental zirconia materials, is focussed firmly on the number one spot.
2018 sees the launch of EXPLORE. This new multipurpose zirconia marks yet another leap forward and allows technicians everywhere to concentrate fully on aesthetics, as strength issues have been fully addressed. It is an exciting material that many laboratories who have helped with testing feel will mark a new era in dental zirconia. It is the culmination of many years work and fully represents all that Upcera stands for and is truly ‘where art meets science’.