With the increase in dental health awareness, more people are keeping their dentition for longer and deciding against extractions. Consequently, there has been an increase in demand for indirect restorations (ie: crowns, veneers, bridges etc) as well as for partial dentures. The mostcommon casting process utilized in dentistry is the “lost-wax technique” (LWT), which is a form precision dental casting. In order to preserve the longevity of these restorations as well as the patients’ oral health, it is crucial that the restorations be accurately fitting as is the case for any prosthetic treatment.
The LWT is made up of a few stages, starting with the preparation of the dentition,impression taking of the prepared dentition, pouring up of the impression, waxing up the desired pattern, investing the wax, burning-out the wax, casting the alloy into the mould and finishing and polishing the casted metal.
Therefore it is obvious that the whole LWT process involves manydifferent materials, each of which have an influence on the final fit and accuracy of the castings. It isthe aim of this paper to review literature from 1960-2008, discussing how these different materialsaffect the fit of dental castings. The following aims will be used to review the literature: 1. Propertiesof impression material and dental stones; 2. Properties of wax; 3. investment materials; and 4. castingalloys and ceramics.
A well-fitting full-gold crown
1.Properties of impression material and dental stone
High-quality and accurate impressions are imperative to produce an accurate stone-dieand subsequently a well-fitting and long lasting indirect restoration.
Impression materials(IM) are divided into elastics (hydrocolloids and elastomers) and non-elastics.2Studies haveshown synthetic elastomers to produce the most accurate stone casts.
The main concerns regarding IM are permanent (PD) deformation, setting shrinkage(SS), DS and tear resistance (TR) which will in turn affect the accuracy of the stone-die. Thehydrocolloids have a PD of 1.0% after 10% strain and from the many studies and researchesdone, have been shown to be the least dimensionally stable and have low tear resistance.6
This could effect the fit quite considerably if the tear happened at a prepared margin. Whilethere has been research supporting the use of hydrocolloids due to their low cost andcapability of producing good attention do detail impressions,
numerous studies have proven addition-type silicones (AS), to posses the best physical properties and have proven to produce the best fitting restorations.3
The PD of elastomers is 0.1% for 10% stress5 2