Overview of Materials Used in Dental Appliances

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Dental fillings have come a long way over the years. Today’s veneers, crowns and bridges are designed to be stronger and longer lasting than their material predecessors, making it a win-win for both patients and dentists alike.

For instance, one example of material advancement is in what dentists use these days for cavity fillings. Today, they usually use porcelain, gold or composite resin, not silver like the old days, which is now known to contain the potentially harmful element mercury.

With that being said, have you ever wondered what other materials are in your mouth (or could be in your mouth one day)? We examine some of the most common materials used in dental appliances below:


Porcelain: We already mentioned how porcelain is the preferred material used in dental fillings today. It’s also the preferred material used in dental crowns, as the material is strong, lightweight and able to blend in seamlessly with the tooth’s natural color. Porcelain is also a common material used in veneers and dental bridges.
Gold: Whether it be fillings or crowns, gold is a popular material used in a variety of dental appliances. One of the big advantages of gold compared to other materials is its affordability and durability.
Ceramic: Ceramics or ceramic-resin hybrids are durable and therefore less likely to crack, chip or break. Used in a variety of applications, ceramic is also good at absorbing the chewing sensation similar to that of normal teeth and is more resistant to wear than other resins.
Silver: It is possible that you may have some silver in your mouth if you’re older and had a filling administered many years ago, as that used to be the preferred material of choice for dental fillings. As we noted in the opening, however, silver isn’t used anymore due to the fact that there’s evidence that it contains mercury.
Porcelain fused to metal: This is a combination typically used in dental crowns. It consists of porcelain encompassing the outer layer of the crown over metal, which comprises the layer beneath. While these types of crowns are long-lasting, they are costly and also make the gums more vulnerable to gum disease.
Stainless steel: While stainless steel is used to craft many dental appliances, it is perhaps most synonymous with orthodontic appliances – specifically, braces.
Titanium: The most common material comprising dental implants is none other than titanium. That’s because the material is strong and sturdy, able to best mimic the look, feel and strength of natural teeth.

As you can see, there’s somewhat of a smorgasbord of materials that dentists use for various dental restorations and procedures, from conventional metals like stainless steel and gold to more advanced materials like porcelain, titanium and ceramic. For more information on dental appliances, and what they are made of, contact Caven Dental today.

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