The Art of Dentistry

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The Art of Dentistry

by Susanne Ellis, on 3rd June 2014 | 0 comments

The have been many changes in dentistry with evolving materials and techniques, but one of the most significant has been the development of ceramic crowns.  Dental crowns can be used to restore broken-down teeth, improve the appearance of teeth and protect compromised teeth.  The teeth are prepared in the surgery and accurate impressions are forwarded to the dental laboratory, where the technician constructs the crown.  Every crown is constructed individually; traditionally the porcelain was constructed using special powders and liquids, although modern ceramics can be pressed or milled.

For many years the only option was to construct porcelain-fused to metal crowns, where the metal substructure provides strength for the overlying porcelain.  The inherent problem with this sort of crown is that the porcelain has to disguise the underlying metal and then attempt to match the appearance of the surrounding natural teeth; the net result is often a very opaque and creamy-looking crown that lacks the vitality of the natural teeth and has an unsightly black margin.  Attempts to hide the metal margin below the gum usually means it is difficult to ensure a good fit; initially this results in gum inflammation which will never heal and eventually lead to gum recession, exposing the metal margins.  In short it is a crown that looks like a crown and not a tooth.

However, porcelain can be made to look like a natural tooth, but it remains a delicate and fragile material. Modern ceramic materials such as alumina and zirconium can provide a strong sub-structure; most importantly it is tooth-coloured so there is nothing to disguise and the technician can construct a beautiful crown.  The modern materials allow a more aesthetic and natural-looking all-ceramic crown to be constructed.

The art in dentistry is making the crown look like a tooth and modern all-ceramic crowns can be used to enhance a natural smile.

 

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