One Step from Diamonds: The Material Secrets of CEREC

It’s a common misconception we hear all the time. People are concerned that porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are not going to be strong enough to withstand biting and chewing forces. They think that they will have to use care in eating and that their restorations will fracture under even minor stresses. This is because they think that porcelain is fragile. But the porcelain in our CEREC restorations is not the porcelain you are used to. In fact, it’s very similar to the armor that is defending US and NATO soldiers around the world every day.

Almost as Hard as Diamonds (and Maybe More Beautiful)

The secret to the durability of CEREC restorations is aluminum oxide (Al2O3)–also called alumina–a material that occurs in nature as the gemstone corundum, which is known more commonly by its variants ruby and sapphire.

In addition to having the ability to be really beautiful, corundum has the distinction of being a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, which runs from 1 (talc) to 10 (diamond). This makes it a lot harder than your natural tooth enamel, which is rated a 5.

Armor Our Troops Trust

Because of its great material properties, alumina has been used in many applications where you wouldn’t expect to find porcelain, but perhaps the most striking is its use in body and vehicle armor. The ceramic isn’t used on its own, but is combined with plastics and metals to give it the proper blend of properties to withstand the impact of bullets and even armor-piercing shells.

A recent test of this material showed how effective it is at stopping bullets.

A Composite Designed for Your Teeth

CEREC Porcelain StrengthAs with body and tank armor, when we use alumina for your teeth, we don’t use it pure. That’s because it would be too hard and too strong for your teeth–it could potentially wear down your opposite teeth. Instead, the material in CEREC blocks is properly blended to soften it, giving it the right properties to be as strong or stronger than your tooth enamel without causing too much wear on your teeth. That’s why CEREC restorations are the most durable restorations available.

The alumina also gains the proper translucency so it looks like your natural tooth enamel. When polished and colored properly, a CEREC restoration is indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

If you would like to learn more about the amazing properties and performance of CEREC restorations, please call (702) 873-0324 for an appointment with a Las Vegas cosmetic dentist at the office of Dr. James B. Polley today.