Feldspathic Veneers - Learn About Feldspathic Porcelain

Restoring the structure of teeth and correcting orthodontic problems through the use of veneers by cosmetic dentistry has gained popularity – moving beyond the land of celebrities into consumer life.  Indeed, research shows that a confident, “celebrity” smile can open doors to a more productive professional and social lifestyle.

Although the feldspathic porcelain veneers (the only veneer available until about 15 years ago) is still utilized by some dentists, innovations and improvements have resulted in a new type of porcelain called “pressed ceramic” that is stronger and longer lasting than the older feldspathic veneers.

Do Feldspathic Veneers Work Best?   

Some dentists still use feldspathic veneer systems in certain situations.  For example, some dentists are traditionalists who are accustomed to working with feldspathic veneers, while others have not taken the time to educated themselves about pressed ceramics.  However, for those dentists who have done their homework, more up-to-date systems are now replacing the older feldspathic dental procedure.  

To provide a background, feldspathic veneers are made using a quartz type of porcelain on a platinum foil or refractory die. A wet brush is used along with porcelain powder. A ceramicist then paints layers onto a model. It is then baked it in a porcelain oven. The porcelain layers are thin and will shrink when heated.  For this reason, the process is done repeatedly until the contour is just right. The ceramicist will place different colors during each state to get the look that best fits you.

On the other hand, teeth veneers of pressed ceramic are made by waxing a tooth to a desired shape, and then melting out the wax. It is then injected with a Lucite-based molten porcelain and put under constant hydraulic pressure. Technicians create more natural coloration by cutting back the ingot and painting colored porcelains on different areas of the tooth. This procedure reverses the gradual build-up method that is often associated with the feldspathic veneers fabrication.

Because pressed ceramic porcelain is so strong, it supports a wide range of treatments and restorations and is the popular choice among cosmetic dentists.  It is much stronger than feldspathic veneers because the material is denser, making restorations more durable and resistant to fracture.

Studies have proven that feldspathic veneers material is more likely to cause greater wear and damage to the underlying teeth, whereas pressed ceramic porcelain is similar to the abrasiveness of natural tooth enamel. And pressed ceramic veneers are a better fit than feldspathic veneers because the latter tends to shrink and warp during production, as a technician adds layers and fires the feldspathic veneer in an oven.  In contrast, pressed ceramic veneers are waxed and cast from the start, making it easier to obtain a perfect fit.

Argument for Feldspathic Veneers  

There are still a handful of dentists who believe that feldspathic porcelain (because of the thinness of the feldspathic material) allow technicians to make veneers that are more natural looking than the best pressed veneers.  Feldspathic tooth veneers can be fabricated as thin as 0.4 mm, and the translucency of these dental veneers can reflect the underlying natural tooth color.  In contrast, technicians using pressed ceramics begin with a contoured ingot in an even shade, and then they make the ingot more natural with reduction techniques as well as external staining. This does not take advantage of the natural appearance of an existing tooth. Therefore, some dentists still believe that feldspathic veneers are the way to go when natural beauty is the primary goal.  However, many dentists prefer ceramic teeth veneers, as they have a greater longevity, and in some cases, do not require any changes to the existing tooth structure.

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