dental02.jpg (11342 bytes)Fundamentals of
Dental Materials

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Restorative Materials

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a. Cold Working. This is the process of changing the shape of a metal by rolling, pounding, bending, or twisting at normal room temperature.

b. Strain Hardening. This occurs when a metal becomes stiffer and harder because of continued or repeated application of a load or force. At this point, no further slippage of the atoms of the metal can occur without fracture.

c. Heat Softening Treatment (Annealing). This treatment is necessary in order to continue manipulating a metal after strain hardening to prevent it from fracturing. The process of annealing consists of heating the metal to the proper temperature (as indicated by the manufacturer's instructions) and cooling it rapidly by immersing in cold water. Annealing relieves stresses and strains caused by cold working and restores slipped atoms within the metal to their regular arrangement.

d. Heat Hardening Treatment (Tempering). This treatment is necessary to restore to metals properties that are decreased by annealing and cold working. Metals to be heat hardened should first be heat softened (annealed) so that all strain hardening is relieved and the hardening process can be properly controlled. Heat hardening is accomplished in dental gold alloy by heating to 840o Fahrenheit, allowing it to cool slowly over a 15-minute period to 480o Fahrenheit, and then immersing it in water.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: May 22, 2017