Porcelain (aka Ceramic) is an inorganic, non-metallic ceramic material with glass-like properties, created with the use of heat. Dental porcelains are manufactured in a powder form and are made in many colors and shades corresponding to the primary colors of basic tooth structure. They are then mixed with water and placed in an oven for “firing” — hence their ceramic nature. Porcelains are built up in layers to mimic the natural translucency, contours, and coloring of tooth enamel.
Porcelain is the most commonly used material for dental crowns because they look and feel like natural teeth. Dental porcelain can be sculpted, meaning crowns are not limited to simply replacing an original tooth — they can be designed to create an even better esthetic appearance. Besides being able to change the tooth shape, crowns are also excellent for changing tooth color. When there is deep staining, a crown will usually be the restoration of choice, and at the same time will strengthen the tooth.
It takes a talented ceramic artist to sculpt dental porcelain into amazing tooth imitations that mimic tooth enamel. Because of porcelain’s glass-like whiteness and translucence that allows light to penetrate and/or scatter, the restorations look very life-like and natural.
Much like your original teeth, porcelain crowns only require routine brushing with non-abrasive toothpaste and regular flossing, so maintaining them is really quite simple.