Most people realize that is important for a dentist to combine technique, technology and artistry, but dental lab technicians working behind the scenes must also share this talent. At McCarl Dental Group, virtually all of our patient’s crowns are fabricated at BECDEN Dental Laboratory. We researched dental labs across the country and found that BECDEN delivers consistent excellence. When we submit a case to BECDEN, we send digital impressions and sometimes study models. We also include digital photographs of our patients with specific instructions to help the lab create the longest lasting and most life-like restoration possible. BECDEN treats every case with the utmost care and frequently calls to consult with McCarl Dentists to discuss techniques that will provide the most natural appearance of the restoration for our patients. Please visit our website at www.McCarlDental.com to see our Smile Gallery featuring beautiful smiles by McCarl Dental Group with porcelain crowns and veneers fabricated by BECDEN Laboratory.
Advancements in technology have never come at a more rapid pace in dentistry than they are now and dental laboratories must invest in research and development to provide the highest quality. All-porcelain restorations (those without metal in them) used for cosmetic dentistry require very sophisticated design software and pressing ovens, which are not affordable to all dental laboratories. CAD/CAM — computerized milling of crowns is the direction technology is following, yet this technology still requires highly skilled technicians to create the computer design and finesse the milled restoration.
There are many ways to make a crown. Porcelain can be added as one color only, all at once, and fired in the furnace, or can be added in layers with a variety of colors to more closely mimic natural teeth. The labor time and skill level are considerably higher in the latter case. Like excellent dentists, high quality dental technicians are artists, using their color palette of wet porcelains to copy the shade and shape chosen by the dentist. They use a technique called “layering” in which they bake the porcelain in the shape of the tooth and then “cut it back” and layer in different shades of porcelain which adds vitality to the crown.
“Crowns in an hour” that are processed in a dental office are time savers, but are monochromatic which means one solid color throughout the crown. This can be fine for posterior teeth that are not visible when a patient smiles, but would never be appropriate for a front tooth.
The quality of the porcelain also significantly affects the appearance of dental crowns. There are numerous porcelains on the market with a vast price range. The highest quality porcelains have the finest grain size, which creates a more aesthetic and natural appearance. The high end, fine grain porcelains also prevent wearing away of the enamel of the opposing teeth, which is frequently a problem with lower cost porcelain.
Dental laboratories can choose from a variety of metals, from those with no gold at all to percentages of gold up to 88%. The lower quality and cost metals often have high percentages of silver. This is problematic because up to 80% of females have allergic reactions to silver. High quality dentists and laboratories use metals with 50% or more gold for aesthetic and biocompatibility reasons.
Choosing an excellent dental laboratory is one of the many steps we take at McCarl Dental Group to assure that our patients receive the very highest quality dental work. We always want to keep our patients smiling!