Lithium Disilicate Creates Stronger and Safer Teeth

New Ceramic Material Makes Better Crowns, Veneers and Appliances

Lithium disilicate is easily the best material available. I use it in all my restorations. — Dr. Ashkan Alizadeh, DDS

At the Sacramento Dentistry Group’s in-house dental lab, lithium disilicate is the material of choice for making crowns, veneers, inlays, onlays, and teeth for dental implants. In the hands of a skilled dental technician, lithium disilicate is an excellent replacement for lost enamel and missing teeth. As a result, it has rapidly taken over the dental industry due to its superior strength and compatibility with your natural teeth.

The Strength of Lithium Disilicate

Ceramics have been used for dental restorations for decades. Readily formed and colored, they can be made to match your teeth in both tint and shape. Lithium disilicate is a newer ceramic that has been subjected to multiple tests to ensure its viability as a dental material and its safety for human use. These many studies demonstrate that lithium disilicate is far superior to other ceramics and dental materials, especially over extended periods. The result is improvements in a number of different dental appliances, especially veneers.

Veneers and Lithium Disilicate

Veneers are ceramic coverings placed over the teeth to create a “perfect smile.” Ideally, they should be made as thin as possible, but thin materials chip easily at their edges, especially when placed under the usual stress faced by your teeth every day. This problem can be solved by grinding away a little bit of the tooth enamel to allow for a thicker veneer.

Lithium disilicate has excellent strength, however, even when made into a very thin shape. As a result, veneers can be created that are so thin that they are applied directly to the tooth with only minimal preparation (some types of Lumineers are made with lithium disilicate). This gives the dentists at Sacramento Dentistry another option to offer our patients desiring veneers.

This crown for a dental implant was created with lithium disilicate.

This crown for a dental implant was created in a dental lab with lithium disilicate.

Crowns, Dental Implants and Inlays or Onlays with Lithium Disilicate

“False teeth” also benefit greatly from the use of this new ceramic material. Chewing brings teeth in contact with each other and often creates terrific amounts of force. In addition, some patients grind their teeth, a habit which damages certain restorations. Lithium disilicate, when used to create artificial teeth, is considerably stronger than other ceramic and non-ceramic materials. As a result, it handles the stress placed on teeth as well as your enamel, if not better. It endures flexing and resists damage to its edges. As a result, we can successfully create restorations for more patients that are certain to last much longer — lifetime use is a possibility!

Lithium Disilicate Causes Little Wear to Other Teeth

Our teeth are constantly touching each other as we chew and go about our day. Even enamel against enamel eventually causes some wear to the teeth. As they age, some ceramics actually cause more wear to teeth than the natural enamel. In contrast, lithium disilicate actually causes less wear to teeth, even in comparison with enamel. This makes it an excellent long-term solution for dental restorations.

Lithium Disilicate and Biocompatibility

Finally, this new ceramic works very well with the oral environment. As one study stated: “The lithium disilicate materials were less cytotoxic than several commonly used composite materials and were comparable to cytotoxicity reported for several alloys and glass ionomers. Furthermore, the improvement of these materials over the course of several weeks of aging and the relative stability of the cytotoxic response post-polishing suggests that they will perform well clinically in the long term.” It is therefore safe for extended use with human tissues.

Restorations Installed with Confidence

Every time the members of the Sacramento Dentistry Group install a dental appliance made with lithium disilicate, we have confidence in the material, the construction of the appliance and the quality of installation. By encouraging our patients to use this new material whenever possible, we have their long-term dental health in mind. If you want veneers or need dental implants, crowns, inlays or onlays, either new or replacements, please consult with one of our dentists about the value of lithium disilicate for meeting your dental health needs.

Photo Credit: E. Schneidereit

  • Myra
    Posted at 13:04h, 23 October Reply

    This is good info that I’ll pass onto my husband. He has 2 very old onlays that he got when he was a teenager. They’ve lasted a long time, but we know he will probably need new ones at some point.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 14:47h, 14 January Reply

    Some studies showed a higher level of cytotoxicity with lithium disilicate ceramics. I had some crowns done with emax and it burned my mouth up. It was very painful. It’s getting harder and harder to find someone who used older more suitable PFM materials.

    • Dr. Castro
      Posted at 17:42h, 20 June Reply

      The metal in PFM’s [Porcelain Fused to Metal restorations] can cause allergy to some and in time cause the gums to recede. In contrast, lithium disilicate is more bio-compatible by not irritating the gum line. The question of cytotoxicity is an interesting one. I have not come across any evidence of allergy or burning, as you say, to this product as I have to PFM restorations. Research has gone into this product and it’s been out for over 15 years now. Once fired, this product is crystalized sand. I see lithium disilicate technology replacing PFM technology in its entirety within the next few years for single unit restorations. If you feel that you have burning sensations to your crowns I’d invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation as this is definitely not normal and we can help you.

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