Types of Materials Used in Aesthetic Restorations

The demand for aesthetics in dentistry has created an amazing variety of ceramic, composite and porcelain restorative materials that are available for dental restorations (Table 1). For instance, ceramic restorations are so natural looking that even the dental professional may need to carefully evaluate what they observe in the patient’s mouth. While ceramic restorations have a natural appearance and are pleasing aesthetically, there are also limitations that must be considered when the restorations are placed. Ceramics are quite strong, but the occlusal forces of mastication and bruxism increase the risk of failure due to the brittle nature of the material.6 It is important for dental hygienists to perform an evaluation of marginal and occlusal integrity of aesthetic restorations at each recall appointment.

Table 1. Restorative Materials Used in Aesthetic Restorations.6,19,27
Ceramic Glass-based and crystalline-based restorative material

Lucite, lithium disilicates, alumina-based and zirconia-based ceramics are most widely used
Composite Resin restorative material categorized by particle sizes

Nanofilled contain the smallest particles and macrofilled contain the largest particles

Packable and flowable types are available
Porcelain Made of ceramic fired at high temperatures

Restorations may be full porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM)

There are various types of restorations that the dental professional may observe in a typical day. They range from slightly radiopaque to completely radiopaque on a radiographic image. Figure 1 shows an example of the following restorations:

  • Tooth #13 exhibits a CEREC ceramic restoration comprised of lithium disilicate.
  • Tooth #14 has a PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal) restoration and gutta percha in the root canals from endodontic therapy.
  • Teeth #15, 18 and 19 have been restored with gold crowns and have smooth contours that follow the anatomical crown closely.
Figure 1.
Various Types of Restorative.
Figure 2.
Intraoral photo of the maxillary restorations shown in Figure 1.
Images courtesy of Dr. Luke Iwata, Loma Linda, CA
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