The Changing Face of Dental Materials Continued

Author: Dr. David Dickerhoff, DDS, MAGD, FOCOI

Dr. Dickerhoff and smiling patient

Last month, I talked with you about treatment planning a new prosthetic dental material called zirconia dioxide in fabricating crowns, bridges and implant restorations for our patients. The advantages of using this new yet proven dental material lies in our ability to mill it out of a processed block of zirconia that has all the inherent strength we need for service in the mouth yet still can be fabricated to have all the intrinsic properties of color, hue and value so it looks like a real tooth. Since it is being scanned and milled by a computer, sending digital information to the dental laboratory is a real possibility. For the patient, this means that your tooth preparations might be digitally scanned and sent via a secure internet connection to a laboratory for milling. We, at Spring Lake Dental Group, also have the ability to digitally scan and mill our restorations in house.


What should really matter to you is whether these restorations will hold up over time, be asymptomatic and mirror reality. A five year survival study was performed and published in 2010, which stated that the survival rate for all fixed dental prostheses was 94.29%. 76.41% of the prostheses were considered free of complications, with chipping being the most reported complication. This chipping complication was mostly related to layered zirconia restorations. We layer some of our restorations in order to achieve superior esthetics because the base of zirconia cores sometimes lacks the translucency that real teeth exhibit. When I am working on posterior restorations, I almost never layer restorations and breakage of these restorations has never been an issue for me and because our core manufacturing process is getting better and better over time, I am finding that I need to layer in the anterior area less often.

If you have been a patient of record with Spring Lake Dental Group over the years, you probably have seen that we stand behind our work and deal with any complications that arise. Our prosthetic work is guaranteed and your happiness with the complete process and the final outcome is our ultimate goal. As long as you are doing your part and coming in for your routine examinations and cleanings, whenever a problem arises, we are here to fix it! This new class of restoration has me excited to be able to provide a very functional and esthetically pleasing restoration that will keep you smiling beautifully for a lifetime!