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The Use of Porcelain in Dentistry

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The thesis statement of the research paper is the use of dental porcelain in dentistry. Dental Porcelain also referred to as dental ceramic is a type of porcelain used by dental experts to create lifelike bridges, veneers as well as crowns for the patient that are biocompatible. Studies indicate they are effective in that they are insoluble, aesthetic and have a hardness of about 7 on the Mohs scale (Emersion 12).

There are many use of dental porcelain. According to studies, they are effective, even though for three unit molars complete porcelain and porcelain fused to metal just Zirconia-based restorations are suggested (Emersion 12). Veneers are thin layers of restorative materials, which are placed over the surface of a tooth with an aim of enhancing a tooth’s aesthetics or protecting the surface of a damaged tooth. Dental porcelain is one of the materials employed in fabricating a veneer (Craig et al. 6-11). Veneers created by dental porcelain can merely be indirectly fabricated. Porcelain is also used for the production of crowns. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap, which is placed over the surface of a tooth with the purpose of covering the tooth in order to regain its strength, size and shape, to cover a discolored tooth, hold a dental bridge, or enhance the appearance of a tooth (Emersion 10). Crowns made from porcelain look similar to normal teeth, although more wearing takes place compared with other types of crowns. Furthermore, porcelain is used in dentistry for filling restorations. The two kinds of porcelain restorations include complete porcelain and porcelain fused to metal (Craig et al. 6-11). Lastly, a bridge, also referred to as fixed partial denture, is a type of dental restoration employed by dental technicians to substitute a missing tooth through dental implants or by joining enduringly to the adjacent tooth (Craig et al. 21). Typically, bridges are created using porcelain through the indirect technique of fabrication.

There are three types of dental porcelains. It is apparent that the dentists work with a number of materials which are composed of two or even more principally varying entities known as composites (Craig et al. 6-11). Composite materials are made from two or more constituents that are different both physically and chemically. Moreover, they remain separate. It is apparent that a dental composite mainly comprises of resin based matrix for example bisphenol A-glycidyl methacrylate and inorganic filler for instance silicon dioxide silica (Rabanus 1). According to studies compositions vary greatly, with the mixes of resin developing the matrix. Apparently, in dental porcelain, the matrix is a glass which is either heavily or lightly filled with glass particles, which melt at extreme temperatures. Predominantly glass porcelain portrays the same characteristics as enamel and dentin and the native layers of a natural tooth (Rabanus 4). Evidently, little filler manages the optical effects such as color and opacity (Rabanus 5). Particle filled glass porcelain contains additional filler particles to ensure strength as well as contraction and thermal expansion (Rabanus 6). They are crystalline material that melts at very high temperatures. The advantage of this type of dental porcelain is that it can be etched to create micro-retentive pattern that makes the porcelain bondable. Polycrystalline porcelain contains no glass. Evidently, its fillers are not particles but dopants. The atoms are arranged into regular crystalline arrays that makes that structure resistant to micro cracks (Craig et al. 6-11). An advantage of the type of porcelain is that, it is the toughest and strongest in the market today.

The strengths and physical properties of porcelain used in dentistry include their low thermal conductivity. Evidently, the matrix in dental porcelain is a glass, which is either heavily or lightly filled with glass particles which melt at extreme temperatures (Rabanus 1). As a result they have a very low conductivity. Moreover, they are resistant to different categories of force and wear. In addition, particle filled glass porcelain contains additional filler particles to ensure strength as well as contraction and thermal expansion (Della, and Kelly 139). Further, studies indicate that the atoms of Polycrystalline porcelain arranged into regular crystalline arrays that makes that structure resistant to micro cracks. Besides, dental porcelain is resistant to chemical erosion (Craig et al. 6-11). Due to the insoluble nature of the dental porcelain, it is clear that they are resistant to any chemical reaction. This ensures that the tooth remain strong and tough. In conclusion the dental porcelain must have a good bonding strength (Rabanus 7). This is evidenced by the fact that Particle filled glass porcelain can be etched to create micro-retentive pattern that makes the porcelain bondable.

Porcelain used in dentistry has various positive and negative aspects. Some of these aspects encompass natural tooth structure, difficult for dental plague to form, insolubility in oral fluids, brittle material, complex techniques required, and degrade supporting structure (Craig et al. 6-11). It is apparent that crowns that are made from porcelain look similar to normal teeth, thus making porcelain materials more preferred for making crowns. This is due to the fact that compared to metallic ones, porcelain material may be color matched to match the adjacent teeth. Nevertheless, compared with resin or metal crowns, porcelain crown are more fragile thus may break off or cheap easily. Furthermore, more wearing takes place to the opposing tooth with porcelain crowns unlike in resin or metallic crowns. Dental porcelains are also insoluble in oral fluids. This means that the dental porcelains do not have the property of dissolving in oral liquids to form a homogenous solution. As a result, porcelain materials are deemed good for producing crowns, veneers, bridges or for filling restorations. Besides, complex techniques are required whilst creating the bridges, veneers and crowns. For instance, while fabricating a bridge, the tooth is reduced on both sides of the missing tooth through a preparation pattern which is determined by the tooth’s location (Craig et al. 6-11). This merely depends on the material used for the fabrication. The bridges dimensions are identified by Antes Law. Moreover, the root surface area of the abutment tooth must exceed or equal to that of the teeth which is being substituted with pontics (Emersion 16). These highly and advanced techniques, thus requires a professional dental technician, who will make certain that such procedures are carried out effectively.

Biocompatibility in dental porcelain is a term used to refer to how well the material coexists with the biological equilibrium of the tooth and body systems. Moreover it is the ability of a material to perform the intended function to a desired degree of incorporation in the body of the host without exhibiting any undesired effects to the host (Della, and Kelly 139). However this is usually not the case as the implantation of foreign materials into the body usually has negative effects (Della, and Kelly 139). They include chemical leakage of the implanted devices that adversely affect the device performance, pulp irritation due to the uncontrolled activation of plasma protein cascades as well as allergic reactions. This mainly occurs when the device elicits negative effects in the host (Della, and Kelly 139). 

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