For decades, there was so little change in the materials used to restore teeth that most people still think of silver fillings as the go-to for most dentists. Recently, we have seen a flurry of growth in the dental field. Innovations in techniques and dental materials have made it possible to improve patient care significantly. In our Scottsdale office, porcelain fillings are commonly used as an alternative to silver fillings, or dental amalgams. Generally, any tooth-colored filling is perceived as cosmetically valuable. When you look more closely at porcelain fillings, you see much more than a “pretty face,” but we’ll start there anyway.
The Beauty of Dental Porcelain
Dental porcelain is widely known for its use in cosmetic veneers. Before the development of this material, veneers were often created from composite material. While composite resin, a quartz and plastic mixture, can be color-matched to a person’s enamel, some characteristics simply cannot be replicated. For example, a composite is an opaque material; you cannot see through it. If you look at your natural teeth, though, you can see through their edges. When we use porcelain for cosmetic and restorative purposes, translucency is a characteristic we can retain.
The Durability of Dental Porcelain
The porcelain, or type of ceramic, that is used in dentistry is made of layers of compact material that have been heated and fused together. Some of the material also crystalizes, which is what gives dental porcelain a sheen that resembles natural enamel. The layering technique used to make dental porcelain creates strength that is also comparable to enamel and therefore supportive to lasting tooth structure.
In addition to the durability of the material itself, dental porcelain also sustains the natural resiliency of a tooth because, when cured to natural enamel, this material behaves similarly. Did you know that chewing causes friction and that friction causes heat in your mouth? This is an essential factor in successful dental treatment because the materials we use to restore teeth will also warm as a result of chewing friction. Many types of matter swell when heated. Enamel does, and so does porcelain. However, this swelling happens at such a close rate that there is virtually no risk of separation between organic and artificial materials. A porcelain filling is expected to hold its shape well for many years after insertion.
Your Scottsdale dentist, Dr. Eric Wiitala, has your best interest in mind. That is why we offer services such as porcelain fillings. To schedule your visit with us, call (480) 657-6981.