At Really Smile (providing advanced general and cosmetic dentistry in Carmel, IN), we take a lot of pride in the modern technologies that we’ve invested in to make sure that the dental solutions we provide you are convenient, comfortable, and caring.
So it’s a bit surprising that we use a 2,000 year old innovation on a regular basis in our practice! Porcelain was invented in China and eventually made its way to Europe. The name porcelain comes from the Italian porcellana (a translucent sea shell).
That innovation is porcelain. We use porcelain to create dental restorations such as crowns, veneers, and bridges. Dental restorations are used to improve the appearance and function of teeth that have been severely damaged or have undergone certain procedures.
Why is Porcelain Used?
Porcelain is useful in dentistry for a number of reasons:
Dental restorations made of porcelain are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth in appearance.
An object’s color is determined by how the surface interacts with light; porcelain and the surfaces of your teeth interact with light almost exactly, making your porcelain crown, veneers, or bridge very discrete. Nobody has to know but you!
Porcelain is a strong, durable material.
Porcelain is a ceramic that is made out of a specific type of clay (it may also have additional additives, depending upon how it will be used). Porcelain doesn’t dissolve readily in water (making it an ideal material to put in your mouth more or less permanently), and porcelain is extremely hard. The Mohs scale, which is used to rate the hardness of materials, gives porcelain a score of 7, putting it close to the hardness of a diamond (which has a score of 10).
Porcelain is biocompatible.
Porcelain won’t activate your immune system like other materials, such as certain metals that can cause an allergic reaction in some patients. From your body’s perspective, there isn’t anything there at all because porcelain is “compatible” with it.
Porcelain is also very stain-resistant.
This makes the maintenance and cleaning of your dental restorations much easier than those made of other materials, and is therefore a much more convenient solution for you.
How Does Really Smile Use Porcelain?
At Really Smile, porcelain is used to make crowns, veneers, and dental bridges.
A crown is designed like a cap that goes over your damaged tooth, and protects it from further damage, provides it with structural strength (following root canal therapy), and improves its appearance.
Your dentist will take a dental impression, which is a mold of your teeth that is used to create your customized restoration. Your impression is sent to a specialized lab, where your crown will be fabricated. In between the first appointment when you got your impression and the appointment when your crown is actually placed, you’ll wear a temporary crown. It’s important that the temporary crown (and the permanent crown, for that matter) fit precisely, or breakage may result; this creates an opportunity for serious infection that might require serious intervention from your dentist.
Fortunately, your Really Smile dentist has the expertise to give you your best smile while also protecting your oral health and overall wellbeing.
A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth; the artificial tooth is supported by a pair of crowns, one on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth.
Porcelain bridges are more attractive, more durable, and easier to maintain than other materials. Having your bridge made of porcelain will extend the operating life of your dental restoration, allowing you to get the most out of your dental dollar.
Veneers are used to cover up the surface of a tooth (or many teeth) that have been severely damaged, are showing signs of serious wear (as a result of disease or some other condition, such as bruxism or teeth grinding), and/or have stains that are difficult to remove (such as those caused by certain medications like tetracycline, a common antibiotic).
Veneers can be made of many materials, but porcelain veneers are superior in terms of durability and appearance.
Are You In Need of A Dental Restoration? Why Not Go Porcelain?
Porcelain allows you to get the most out of your dental care when you need it by increasing the life of your dental restoration, as well as improving your smile in ways that other materials can’t.
If you’re interested in learning more about porcelain dental restorations, or any of our other cosmetic dentistry options, don’t hesitate to call us today!
Dial 317-451-4050 today, or click here to use our online appointment form to book your visit now!