There have been great advances in materials used in the field of dentistry in the past few years, with crowns and bridges improving by leaps and bounds.
Ceramics or Porcelain
Since the early 1900s ceramics have been used to create dental porcelain. Through the years, the compounds have changed and been modified to provide strength, adherence, and the most natural look possible. Today’s ceramics can be blended to match any tooth and can even be created in gradient shades to match the natural aging of teeth. They’ve also grown in strength and adherence to last a lifetime without any problems.
In the 1970s, the idea of bonding was accepted by the dental profession. The concept of actually securing a porcelain crown directly to a tooth was growing in popularity, but the practicality of it didn’t come to market until the 1980s with the introduction of resin cement. This bonding method strengthened the porcelain crown while attaching it to the unbreakable original tooth structure. This was a benefit not only to the strength of crowns, but to their esthetics as well. By the 1990s, resin and ceramics had advanced to the point where not only could crowns be reliably and safely bonded to original teeth, but fixed bridges could also be created and bonded to look and function just as the original teeth had.
Cast Gold to Zirconia
In the past, porcelain used in crowns and bridges was brittle due to its high concentration of glass particles. To increase strength, metal was added in applications such as cast gold structures with porcelain facings. Your dentist may mention names like e.max, Empress, Lava, and other brands that seem to have solved a number of problems with the strength of the teeth. However, metal decreases the translucence of the porcelain making the final effect seem less realistic. Selecting the appropriate core material for crowns has become a bit of a science and several cores are available today. Glass-infused ceramic cores are created with pure alumina, spinel, or zirconia and feature a higher proportion of refractory crystalline, which makes them look more realistic than in the past.