Nanocrystals make for improved dentures

Washington: A new kind of glass ceramic with a nanocrystalline structure will make for improved dental restoration owing to its high strength and optical characteristics, scientists say.

"We achieved a strength five times higher than with comparable denture ceramics available today," said glass chemist Christian Russel of the Friedrich Schiller University at Jena (Germany).

Materials to be considered as dentures are not supposed to be optically different from natural teeth. At the same time not only the right colour, but the shade is important.

"The enamel is partly translucent, which the ceramic is also supposed to be," Russel says.

Russel, a professor and colleagues at the Otto-Schott-Institute for Glass Chemistry succeeded in producing a new kind of glass ceramic with a nanocrystalline structure, reports the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, quoting a varsity statement.

Ceramic materials used so far are not very suitable for bridges or fixed partial dentures -- a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth -- as their strengths are mostly not high enough.

"In combination with new optical characteristics an additional field of application is opening up for these materials in dentistry," says Rüssel.


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