The demand for esthetics 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 esthetically, 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 esthetic restorations at each recare appointment.
|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:
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