What Is Ceramic in Dentistry?

Reviewed on 3/19/2021
Ceramics are widely used in dentistry for making crowns, braces, and veneers.
Ceramics are widely used in dentistry for making crowns, braces, and veneers.

Ceramics are widely used in dentistry for making crowns, braces, and veneers. A special type of ceramic, known as porcelain, is specially used for dental procedures. The biocompatibility, aesthetic feel, insolubility, and hardness of ceramics make them suitable for making dental fittings.

What are ceramic braces?

Ceramic braces use clear or tooth-colored brackets rather than gray or metallic silver brackets and wires to correct deformities in your teeth, such as misalignment.

Here are some advantages of ceramic braces over metal ones.

  • Ceramic braces are less visible than metal braces. They can match the color of your teeth. So, you do not feel self-conscious as you might feel with metal braces.
  • Metal braces can interfere with the results of imaging tests. Ceramic braces offer none to very little interference compared to metal braces in imaging tests.

Disadvantages of ceramic braces:

  • Ceramic braces are around $1000 costlier than metal braces.
  • Ceramic braces are larger than metal braces. Hence, cleaning or brushing them may pose a difficulty.
  • They may cause swollen gums that are sensitive to touch and temperature.
  • Ceramic braces are more likely to break off than metal braces. Hence, they are less durable.
  • The fragility also makes the teeth straightening process longer than the metal ones due to multiple visits to the dentist.
  • Ceramic braces can stain that cannot be removed. You need a replacement for the braces if you want to get rid of the stain.

There are three types of ceramic used in dentistry:

  • Ceramic crowns
  • Ceramic veneers
  • Ceramic dental bridges

What are ceramic crowns?

Ceramic crowns are designed to sit over a filled-down tooth. They help restore the chewing function without the filling eroding off the tooth. An all-ceramic crown is usually made entirely from porcelain or another type of ceramic.

All-ceramic generally looks the closest to a natural tooth. Hence, this option is particularly good for people who are very concerned about the appearance of their teeth.

You may also opt for a ceramic crown if you have metal allergies.

Another advantage of having ceramic crowns is their extreme resistance to temperature changes. Hence, you are less likely to experience sensitivity to heat or cold with this type of crown.

Despite all the advantages of getting a ceramic crown for your tooth, it does carry a few disadvantages. It is likely to break with force as compared to a metal crown. It can also wear due to grinding by the adjacent teeth while chewing food.

What are ceramic veneers?

Dental veneers are used to cover the front surface of the teeth. They can be made from ceramic (porcelain) or composite resin. The benefit of using ceramic dental veneers is that they resist stains better than resin veneers. They also give the natural look to the teeth by mimicking the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth.

What are ceramic dental bridges?

Dentists use dental bridges to close the gaps in your teeth and improve your smile. A dental bridge is actually a false tooth (called a pontic) that is held in place in between two adjacent teeth. To give your teeth a natural look, ceramic dental bridges are usually preferred over other metal dental bridges.

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References
Mayo Clinic. Dental Braces. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/braces/about/pac-20384607

Mayo Dental & Implant Clinic. Crowns. https://www.mayodentalclinic.com/services/restorative/crowns/

WebMD. Dental Veneers. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/veneers

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