Resin, Porcelain or Ceramic: What’s the Difference?

Resin, Porcelain or Ceramic: What’s the Difference?

Over the past 20 years, dental patients have benefited from advances in dental technology. Examples include traditional metal braces that have been supplemented with Invisalign, and manual flossing with its high-tech alternative, water flossing. The standard in dental fillings, that being the silvery metallic fillings we all recognize, have been marginalized as dentists and consumers alike find ceramic and resin dental materials superior to their ancestor.

Ceramics have been used since the early 1900s to create dental porcelain, although the formula has been made stronger over the years, and today’s products are more natural looking than previously. If you lost a tooth in the 50’s or 60’s, it’s likely it wasn’t replaced with an exact match, due to technology limitations at the time. Today’s ceramics have an infinite number of shades to match virtually any tooth color.

Dentists were bonding teeth, i.e., applying crowns, back in the 70’s, although the practice didn’t reach popular levels until the 80’s, following the introduction of resin cement. Not only did resin cement provide a stronger (virtually unbreakable) bond for the crown, the results were much more attractive. This bonding method also contributed to the safe and reliable method of creating fixed bridges that functioned and looked just like the original teeth.

While porcelain’s inclusion in crowns and bridges was commonplace in the past, the result, though attractive, was fragile, since glass particles were part of the mix. To make the porcelain stronger, it was the practice to add metals, which, unfortunately, created a problem with appearance. At the present time, here at our NYC dental office, we have access to numerous blends of glass-infused ceramic cores that deliver strong teeth that are also beautiful and natural in appearance.

If you’re interested in a better smile, and/or you have missing teeth, schedule an appointment with one of our Manhattan dentists for an exam and a written proposal for a Smile Makeover. Call us at (212) 267-1884 to schedule your appointment.

To your health and beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists


Crowns vs Fillings

At our Manhattan dental practice, our patients sometimes ask us if it might be preferable to have a crown placed over a tooth rather than a dental filling. While these two treatments aren’t identical, they can be an alternative for some patients, depending upon the severity of the decay.

Criteria For Dental Fillings

When a patient has minor dental decay, a dental filling is the logical choice both from a treatment standpoint and a financial one. Once a cavity has developed, we must remove the decayed area of that tooth, both to prevent further decay and to restore stability to the tooth.  Through the use of silver amalgam, ceramic, porcelain or a tooth-colored composite, we restore shape to the tooth to ensure a correct bite and avoid further decay in that area. Almost all of our NYC dental patients want to avoid silver amalgams for a variety of reasons, including aesthetic ones.

Criteria for Dental Crowns

If significant decay has weakened a patient’s tooth to the point whereby we believe the tooth cannot support a dental filling, Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.39.21 PMa crown is a logical alternative, as it offers both strength and stability to a tooth. Further, in patients with cracked or broken teeth, whether caused by decay or trauma, a dental extraction can be avoided while preserving as much of the tooth’s structure as possible with a crown. Manhattan dental patients often receive a crown following a root canal to support and strengthen a tooth to avoid damage during chewing.

Applying a crown is a fairly simple matter. For patients with an extensive decayed area in a tooth, we will insert filling materials such as those above in order to create a bigger, more ideal surface on which the crown will be placed. The crown is then cemented to the tooth and becomes a permanent feature in that patient’s oral cavity.

We hope you’re sticking to a twice-a-day brushing and flossing schedule, as well as a twice-yearly visit to our office, to avoid the discomfort, inconvenience and financial investment in a crown or filling. However, if you do experience dental problems, such as tooth pain or sensitivity, schedule an appointment with us so we can treat these concerns while they’re still small!

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists