If you have the bad luck to damage or lose a tooth, your dentist will probably recommend some type of restoration to prevent the problem from getting worse while enabling you to continue eating what you like. Today, dentists have a wide variety of restorative materials to choose from — some in use for thousands of years, others the product of highly advanced technologies.
To select a material to use in your restoration, your dentist will consider a variety of factors that are unique to you. He or she will look for the material offering the best combination of benefits in three major categories:
- Superior physical qualities: Dentists want to use materials that won’t make your mouth overly sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks; won’t unduly expand or contract with temperature changes; and won’t wear away, weaken or dissolve under the mechanical and chemical stresses your teeth undergo each day. In addition, your dentist and the dental laboratory making the restoration will need a material that, for all its strength, is easily molded or cut into the exact shape of the tooth or tooth part that is being replaced.
- Outstanding biocompatibility: Your restoration will be in close, constant contact with the rest of your mouth as well as everything you eat and drink. Materials need to be selected that are compatible with the chemistry of your body, won’t irritate tissues or trigger an allergic reaction.
- Beautiful aesthetics: Dentists and patients want materials that look good, especially for highly visible restorations towards the front of the mouth. There, dentists will often specify a material that comes as close as possible to the particular shade, translucency and texture of its neighboring teeth.
To ensure that the material your dentist specifies is actually that which goes into your mouth and is recorded in your patient file, he or she can obtain free certification through the IdentAlloy and IdentCeram certification program. Certificates are sent at no charge with materials from the leading dental materials manufacturers and suppliers and are available on request from dental labs.
Learn more about restorations