dental02.jpg (11342 bytes)Fundamentals of
Dental Materials

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Dental Resins, Miscellaneous Dental Materials, and Dental Gold/Alloys

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2-12. DENTAL PORCELAIN

a. General. Dental porcelain is manufactured as a powder. When it is heated to a very high temperature in a special oven, it fuses into a homogeneous mass. The heating process is called baking. Upon cooling, the mass is hard and dense. The material is made in a variety of shades to closely match most tooth colors. Baked porcelain has a translucency similar to that of dental enamel, so that porcelain crowns, pontics, and inlays of highly pleasing appearance can be made. Ingredients of porcelain include feldspar, kaolin, silica in the form of quartz, materials which act as fluxes to lower the fusion point, metallic oxide, and binders. Porcelains are classified into high-, medium-, and low-fusing groups, depending upon the temperature at which fusion takes place.

b. High-Fusing Porcelains. High-fusing porcelains fuse at 2,400o Fahrenheit or over. They are used for the fabrication of full porcelain crowns (jacket crowns).

c. Medium-Fusing Porcelains. Medium-fusing porcelains fuse between 2,000o and 2,400o Fahrenheit. They are used in the fabrication of inlays, crowns, facings, and pontics. A pontic is the portion of a fixed partial denture, which replaces a missing tooth.

d. Low-Fusing Porcelains. Low-fusing porcelains fuse between 1,600o and 2,000o Fahrenheit. They are used primarily to correct or modify the contours of previously baked high- or medium-fusing porcelain restorations.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: May 22, 2017