DENTAL BOOKS: Craig's Restorative Dental Materials - Ronald L. Sakaguchi - 2018

Restorative dental materials
make the reconstruction of the dental hard tissues possible. In many areas, the development of dental materials has progressed more rapidly than for other anatomical prostheses.

Because of their long-term success, patients often expect dental prostheses to outperform the natural materials they replace. The application of materials science is unique in dentistry because of the complexity of the oral cavity, which includes bacteria, high forces, ever changing pH, and a warm, fluid environment.

The oral cavity is considered to be the harshest environment for a material in the body. In addition, when dental materials are placed directly into tooth cavities as restorative materials, there are very specific requirements for manipulation of the material. 

Knowledge of materials science and biomechanics is very important when choosing materials for specific dental applications and when designing the best solution for restoration of tooth structure and replacement of teeth. Restorative dental materials include representatives from the broad classes of materials: metals, polymers, ceramics, and composites.

Dental materials include such items as resin composites, cements, glass ionomers, ceramics, noble and base metals, amalgam alloys, gypsum materials, casting investments, impression materials, denture base resins, and other materials used in restorative procedures. 

The demands for material characteristics and performance range from high flexibility required by impression materials to high stiffness required in crowns and fixed dental prostheses. 

Materials for dental implants require integration with bone. Some materials are cast to achieve excellent adaptation to existing tooth structure, whereas others are machined to produce very reproducible dimensions and structured geometries. 

When describing these materials, physical and chemical characteristics are often used as criteria for comparison. To understand how a material works, we study its chemical structure, its physical and mechanical characteristics, and how it should be manipulated to produce the best performance. 

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