Ceramics in Cosmetic Dentistry

Esthetic Ceramics

Smiling woman in chairThe latest generation of dental ceramics has given a tremendous boost to cosmetic dentistry. When fabricated with great care, these materials are extremely natural looking and can transform your appearance. They are also biocompatible, allowing healthy gum tissue to grow alongside the crown or dental bridge.

Dr. Levy and Dr. Gatha are cosmetic dentists who combines years of training, sound dental science and technical mastery in this field. The office is equipped with the latest, proven technology. His expertise and artistry enables him to comfortably make a difference in peoples’ lives. By listening to your concerns and careful planning, he is able to provide exquisite results that both look and feel natural.

Drs. Levy and Gatha take a health-focused, holistic approach to dental treatment and in choosing the materials he uses to restore teeth. Because of this whole body philosophy of treatment, he stresses the use of biocompatible materials. Please check our Holistic Dentistry page for more information on our health-focused services.

Let’s discuss the types of biocompatible cosmetic dentistry materials.

Porcelain

Emax BridgePorcelain has been used for many years and is still one of the most popular cosmetic dental materials. Porcelain has physical qualities that enable it to be superbly esthetic. It is still commonly used for very natural appearing porcelain veneers.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns have been the standard for 40 years. This is what people have usually referred to as “porcelain crowns”. They are strong and can be made to blend well with one’s natural teeth.

However, because there is only a thin layer of porcelain overlaying the metal, esthetics can sometimes be compromised. They are also prone to leaving an unsightly thin black line along the gumline.

When used on an individual who grinds their teeth or on someone with a strong bite they can be prone to chipping.

IPS e.max® Lithium Disilicate

Before and after anterior picIPS e.max is a revolutionary lithium disilicate glass ceramic used for dental crowns, dental veneers, inlays, onlays, dental bridges and dental implant restorations. It combines high strength and long-term durability with exquisite esthetics.

This material allows Drs. Levy and Gatha, cosmetic dentists, to provide you with comfortable metal free restorations that are strong, long lasting, biocompatible and so natural that they are virtually undetectable amongst your natural teeth.

Since the cosmetic dental restorations made from IPS e.max are completely ceramic, Drs. Levy and Gatha are able to give you esthetics with a vitality and opalescence, not possible with common porcelain fused to metal crowns.

Additionally, there is no potential for the unsightly dark line that may appear with conventional porcelain fused to metal crowns.

Lithium disilicate is strong enough to use for esthetic bridgework to replace missing front teeth. However, when replacing missing back teeth zirconia is the esthetic material of choice.

Zirconia

 Smiling male patientZirconia dioxide (Zirconia) is a white crystalline oxide that is derived from the metal zirconium. We are all familiar with fake diamonds known as cubic zirconia. This is zirconia in its cubic form. In medicine, zirconia is used in many applications such as in artificial joints due to its strength and durability.

In dentistry, it can be used to make esthetic dental crowns, dental bridges and dental implant prosthetics.

Presently, zirconia is the strongest ceramic available in dentistry. This substantial strength enables it to be used as an esthetic substitute for crowns and bridges that formerly had to be fabricated of metal.

Due to it’s strength, minimal tooth preparation is necessary and more of the natural tooth can be maintained. It is strong enough to use for all ceramic bridges on posterior teeth.

If you grind or clench your teeth, zirconia is extremely strong, long lasting and resistant to chipping. It is a great choice for back teeth where ultimate esthetics is not a priority.

While zirconia can be very life-like, it does not have quite the natural beauty, vitality and translucence of E-max or porcelain. Therefore, it is normally not used to restore teeth in the front of the mouth.