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CAST GOLD ALLOYS
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATIVE DENTISTRY & ENDODONTICS SRI RAMACHANDRA DENTAL COLLEGE AND HOSPITAL CHENNAI
INTRODUCTION HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON DENTAL CASTING ALLOYS DESIRABLE PROPERTIES OF CASTING ALLOYS CLASSIFICATION OF DENTAL CASTING ALLOYS IDENTIFICATION OF ALLOYS BY PRINCIPLE ELEMENTS GOLD KARAT AND FINENESS ALLOY COMPOSITION AND TEMPERATURE PROPERTIES: MELTING RANGE DENSITY STRENGTH HARDNESS ELONGATION HEAT TREATMENT OF HIGH NOBLE METAL ALLOYS SOFTENING HEAT TREATMENT HARDENING HEAT TREATMENT CASTING SHRINKAGE ALLOYS FOR ALL-METAL AND RESIN-VENEER RESTORATIONS HIGH NOBLE ALLOYS FOR METAL-CERAMIC RESTORATIONS MATERIAL CHOICE FOR A CAST RESTORATION
INTRODUCTION The physical properties of a tooth are the result of its complex composite structure and the manner in which it is supported within the bone by the periodontal ligament. The enamel-dentin complex displays a brilliant marriage of hard tissues with differing rigidity. Enamel, the harder mantle, with the modulus of elasticity approaching 100 GPa, is supported by a base of dentin, with a modulus of elasticity of 14 to 28 GPa. Intact, tooth is ideally suited for physiological function; this involves dynamic change in its form and, with normal function, the dentition wears without loss of vertical dimension, strength or efficiency. When a tooth looses both its enamel and dentin its physical integrity as well as its biological integrity is compromised. function. Plastic restorative materials are satisfactory in small lesions but, as a problem of restoration of form and function becomes more extensive, the need to employ rigid materials increases in an attempt to reinstate the original anatomy and function of the tooth. Many materials are used for the construction of rigid restorations. There are a number of sound reasons for the Major requirement when replacing lost tooth structure is to replace form and
selection of noble metals and their alloys for the restoration of teeth. Principally they resist oxidation and are not attacked by acids. Seven metals meet this definition: Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Osmium and Iridium. However, only the first three of these are used in dentistry and they inert properties are of great value in the hostile environment of the mouth. HISTORICAL ALLOYS The history of dental casting alloys has been influenced by three major factors: 1) the technologic changes of dental prosthesis; 2) metallurgic advancements; and 3) price changes of the noble metals since 1968. Taggart’s presentation to the New York Odontological Group in 1907 on the fabrication of cast inlay restorations often has been acknowledge as the first reported application of the lost wax technique in dentistry. The inlay technique described by Taggart was an instant success. It soon led to the casting of complex inlays such as onlays, crowns, fixed partial dentures, and removable partial denture frame works. Because pure gold did not have the physical properties required of these dental restorations, existing jewelry alloys were quickly adopted. These gold alloys were further strengthened with copper, silver, or platinum. PERSPECTIVE ON DENTAL CASTING
In 1932, the dental materials group at the National Bureau of Standards surveyed the alloys being used and roughly classified them as Type I (soft: Vickers hardness number (VHN) between 50 and 90), Type II (medium: VHN between 90 and 120), Type III (hard: VHN between 120 and 150), and Type IV (extra hard: VHN ≥ 150). At that time, some tarnish tests indicated that alloys with a gold content lower than 65% to 75% tarnished too readily for dental use. In the following years, several patents were issued for alloys containing palladium as a substitute for platinum. By 1948, the composition of dental noble metal alloys for cast metal restorations had become rather diverse. With these formulations, the tarnishing tendency of the original alloys apparently had disappeared. It is not known that in gold alloys, palladium is added to counter act the tarnish potential of silver. In the late 1950s, a breakthrough occurred in dental technology that was to influence significantly the fabrication of dental restorations. This was the successful veneering of a metal substructure with dental porcelain. Until that time, dental porcelain had a markedly lower coefficient of thermal expansion than did gold alloys, making it impossible to attain a bond between the two structural components. It was found that adding both platinum and palladium to gold
would lower the alloy’s coefficient of thermal contraction sufficiently to ensure physical compatibility between the porcelain veneer and the metal substructure. The melting range of the alloy was also raised sufficiently to permit firing of the porcelain onto the gold-based alloy at 1040°C (1900°F) without deforming the metal substructure. By 1978 the price of gold was climbing so rapidly that attention focused on the noble metal alloys- to reduce the precious metal content yet retain the advantages of the noble metal for dental use. DESIRABLE PROPERTIES OF CASTING ALLOYS Cast metals are used in dental laboratories to produce in inlays, onlays, and crowns, conventional all metal bridges, metal-ceramic bridges, resin-bonded bridges, Endodontic posts, and removable partial denture frameworks. The metals must exhibit biocompatibility, ease of melting, casting, brazing (or soldering) and polishing, little solidification shrinkage, minimal reactivity with the mold material, good wear resistance, high strength and sag resistance (metal-ceramic alloys), and excellent tarnish and corrosion resistance. Generally, conventional type II and type III gold alloys represent the standards against which the performance of other casting alloys is judged. CLASSIFICATION OF DENTAL CASTING ALLOYS
Several brands of crowns and bridge alloys are currently available that are designed for all metal crowns, bridges, onlays and inlays that are described according to American Dental Association (ADA) Specification No.5 as Types I through IV. In the past, this specification referred to gold-based alloys. Since 1989, ADA approved casting alloys can have any composition as long as they pass the tests for toxicity, tarnish, yield strength, and percentage of elongation. The minimum values for yield strength and percent elongation determine whether an alloy is classified as Type I (soft: for restorations subject to very slight stress such as inlays), Type II (medium: for restorations subject to moderate stress such as onlays), Type III (hard: for highstress situations, including onlays, crowns, thick veneer crowns, and short- span fixed partial dentures), and Type IV (extra hard: for extremely high stress states, such as endodontic posts and cores, thin veneer crowns, long span fixed partial dentures, and removable partial dentures). Mechanical property requirements of American Dental Association Specification No.5
Yield Alloy Type I (soft) II (medium) III (hard) IV (extra hard) Strength (Mpa) (0.1% Maximum elongation Annealed 18 18 12 10 (%) Hardened None None None 2
offset) Annealed 140 Maximum 140-200 200-340 ≥ 340
Hardened None None None 500
In 1984 the ADA proposed a simple classification for dental casting alloys. The three categories are: high noble
(HN), noble (N), and predominantly base metal (PB). Many manufacturers have adopted this classification to simplify communication between dentists and dental laboratories technologists. This system lacks the potential to discriminate among alloys within a given category that may have quite different properties. The dental casting alloy classification is useful for estimating the relative cost of alloys because the cost is dependent on the noble metal content as well as on the alloy density.
Alloy classification of the American Dental Association (1984)
Alloy Type High noble metal alloy Total Noble Metal Content Contains ≥ 40 wt% Au and ≥ 60 wt% of the noble metal elements (Au + Ir + Os + Pt + Rh + Noble metal alloy Predominantly base alloy Ru) Contains ≥ 25 wt% of the noble metal elements Contains < 25 wt% of the noble metal elements
The alloys that are used for metal-ceramic restorations can be used for all metal (or resin-veneered) restorations, whereas the alloys for all-metal restorations should not be used for metal ceramic restorations. The principle reasons that alloys for all-metal restorations cannot be used for metal-ceramic restorations are that the alloys may not form thin, stable oxide layers to promote bonding to porcelain; their melting range may be too low to resist sag deformation or melting at porcelain firing temperatures; and their thermal contraction coefficients may not be close enough to those of commercial porcelains.
Classification of Alloys for All-Metal Restorations, MetalCeramic Restorations and Frameworks for Removable Partial Dentures
Alloy Type High Noble Removable Partial Dentures Au-Ag-Cu-Pd
All-Metal Au-Ag-Cu-Pd Metal-ceramic alloys
Metal-Ceramic Au-Pt-Pd Au-Pd-Ag Ag Au-Pd-Ag Ag Au-Pd (no Pd-Au (no Pd-Au-Ag Pd-Ag Pd-Cu Pd-Co Pd-Ga-Ag
(5-12 (>12 Ag) Ag)
Ag-Pd-Au-Cu Ag-Pd Metal-ceramic alloys
MARZOUK’S CLASSIFICATION Class I These are gold and platinum group based alloys in accordance with the ADA specification #5. They are type I, II, III and IV gold alloys. Class II These are low gold alloys, with gold content less than 50%. Some may contain as little as 5% gold. Class III These are non-gold palladium based alloys. Class IV
Nickel chromium based alloys. Class V Castable, moldable ceramics. IDENTIFICATION OF ALLOYS BY PRINCIPLE ELEMENTS As a result of several alternate alloy systems, an understanding of their composition is vital, in view of differences in formulations and the resulting properties. Thus, the crown and bridge, metal-ceramic, and removable partial denture alloys are classified according to not only function but also according to their composition. When an alloy is identified according to the elements it contains, the components are listed in declining order of composition, with the largest constituent first followed by the second largest constituent. An exception to this rule is the identification of certain alloys by elements that significantly affect physical properties or that represent potential biocompatibility concerns, or both. GOLD Pure gold is a soft, malleable, ductile metal that has rich yellow colour with a strong metallic luster. Although pure gold is the most ductile and malleable of all metals, it ranks much lower in strength. Gold melts at 1064°C and has a density of 19.32 g/cc. The density depends somewhat on the condition of the metal, whether it is cast, rolled, or drawn into wire. Small amounts of impurities have a
pronounced effect on the mechanical properties of gold and its alloys. The presence of less than 0.2% lead causes gold to be extremely brittle. Mercury in small quantities also has a harmful effect on its properties. The addition of calcium to pure gold improves the mechanical properties of gold used for gold foil restorations. Air or water at any temperature does not affect or tarnish gold. Gold is not soluble in sulfuric, nitric, or hydrochloric acid. However it readily dissolves in combination of nitric and hydrochloric acids to form the trichloride of gold. It is also dissolved by few other chemicals such as potassium cyanide and solutions of bromine or chlorine. Because gold is nearly as soft as a lead, it must be alloyed with copper, silver, platinum, and other metals to develop the hardness, durability, and elasticity necessary in dental alloys. KARAT AND FINENESS Traditionally the gold content of a dental alloy has been specified on the basis of karat or fineness. Karat refers to the parts of pure gold in 24 parts of an alloy. For example, 24-karat gold is pure gold, whereas 22-karat gold is alloy containing 22 parts of gold and 2 parts of other metals. Fineness describes gold alloys by the number of parts per 1000 of gold. For example, pure gold has fineness of
1000, and 650 fine alloy has a gold content of 65%. Thus, the fineness rating is 10 times the gold percentage in an alloy. An alloy that is three-fourths (75%) pure gold is 750 fine. Fineness is considered a more practical term than karat. ALLOY COMPOSITION AND TEMPERATURE In each phase diagram the horizontal axis represents the composition of the binary alloy. For example, the horizontal axis represents a series of binary alloys of gold and copper ranging in composition from 0% gold (or 100% copper) to 100% gold. The composition can be given in atomic percent (at%) or weight percent (wt%). The atomic and weight percent compositions of the binary alloys can differ considerably. For example, for the Au-Cu system shown (A), an alloy that is 50% gold by weight is only 25% gold by atoms. For other systems, such as the Au-Pt system (F), there is little difference between atomic and weight percentages. The difference between atomic and weight percentage depends on the differences in the atomic masses of the elements involved. The bigger the difference in atomic mass, the bigger the difference between the atomic and weight percentages in the binary phase diagram. From a marketing and sales standpoint, most alloy compositions are given in weight percentages because the weight percentages of gold are higher for this massive element. However, the physical and biological properties of these alloys relate best to atomic percentages. Therefore it is important to keep the difference between atomic and
weight percent in mind when selecting and using noble dental casting alloys. Alloys that appear high in gold by weight percentage may in reality contain far fewer gold atoms than might be thought. A second aspect of the phase diagrams that deserves attention is the liquidus and solidus lines. The y-axes show temperature. If the temperature is above the liquidus line (marked L), then alloy will be completely molten. alloy will be solid. If the temperature is below the solidus line (marked S), then the If the temperature lies between the liquidus and solidus lines, the alloy will be partially molten. The distance between the liquidus and solidus lines varies among systems. For example, the temperature difference between these lines is small for the Ag-Au system, and varies considerably with composition for the Au-Cu system. From a manipulative standpoint, it is desirable to have a narrow liquidus-solidus range because the alloy should be in the liquid state as little time as possible before casting. While in the liquid state, the alloy is susceptible to significant oxidation and contamination. If the liquidusThe For solidus line is broad, then the alloy will remain at least partially molten longer before it can be cast. considerably among alloys and with composition. temperature of the liquidus line is also important and varies example the liquidus line of the Au-Ag system ranges from 962-1064°C (C) but the liquidus line of the Au-Pd system ranges form 1064-1554° C. It is often desirable to have an
alloy with a liquidus line at lower temperatures because the method of heating is easier, fewer side reactions occur, and shrinkage of the alloy is generally less of a problem. PROPERTIES MELTING RANGE Dental casting alloys do not have melting points, but they do have melting ranges because they are mixtures of elements rather than pure elements. The width of the solidus-liquidus melting range is important to the manipulation of the alloys. The solidus-liquidus range should be narrow to avoid having the alloy in a molten state for extended times during casting. If the alloy spends a long time in the partially molten state during casting, there is increased opportunity for the formation of oxides and contamination. The Au-Ag-Pt alloys, have wider ranges, which makes them more difficult to cast without problems. DENSITY Density is important during the acceleration of the molten alloy into the mold during casting. Alloys with high densities will generally accelerate faster and tend to form complete castings more easily. Alloys with high densities
generally contain higher amounts of denser elements such as gold or platinum. Thus the Au-Ag-Pt alloys and Au-Cu-AgPd-I alloys are among the most dense of the casting alloys. STRENGTH Strength of alloys can be measured by either the yield strength or tensile strength. Although tensile strength represents the maximum strength of the alloy, the yield strength is more useful in dental applications because it is the stress at which permanent deformation of the alloys occurs. Because permanent deformation of dental castings is generally undesirable, the yield strength is a reasonable practical maximum strength for dental applications. For several alloys, such as Au-Cu-Ag-Pd-I, II, and III, the formation of the ordered phase increases the yield strength significantly. For example, the yield strength of the Au-CuAg-Pd-II alloys increases from 350 to 600 Mpa with the formation of an ordered phase. For other alloys, such as the Au-Ag-Pt and Ag-Pd alloys, the increase in yield strength is more modest in the hardened condition. The Pd-Cu-Ga alloy do not support the formation of ordered phase because the ratio of palladium and copper are not in the correct range for ordered phase formation. The yield strengths of these alloys range from 3201145 Mpa (hard condition). The strongest alloy is the Pd-CuGa alloy with a yield strength of 1145 Mpa. The other alloys range in strength from 320-600 Mpa. These latter yield
strengths are adequate for dental applications and are generally in the same range as those for the base metal alloys, which range from 495-600. The effect of solidsolution hardening by the addition of copper and silver to the gold or palladium base is significant for these alloys. Pure cast gold has a tensile strength of 105 Mpa. With the addition of 10-wt% copper (coin gold), solid-solution hardening increases the tensile strength to 395 Mpa. With the further addition of 10-wt% silver and 3-wt% palladium (Au-Cu-Ag-Pd-I), the tensile strength increases to about 450 Mpa and 550 Mpa in the hard condition. HARDNESS Hardness is a good indicator of the ability of an alloy to resist local permanent deformation under occlusal load. Although the relationships are complex, hardness is related to yield strength and gives some indication of the difficulty in polishing the alloy. Alloys with high hardness generally will have high yield strengths and are more difficult to polish. The values for hardness generally parallel those for yield strength. In the hard condition, the hardness of these alloys ranges form 155 kg/mm2 for the Ag-Pd alloys to 425 kg/mm2 for the Pd-Cu-Ga alloys. More typically the hardness of the noble casting alloys is around 200 kg/mm2. The Ag-Pd alloys are particularly soft because of the high concentration of silver, which is a soft metal. The Pd-Cu-Ga alloys are particularly hard because of the high concentration of Pd, which is a hard metal. The hardness of most noble casting
alloys is less than that of enamel (343 kg/mm2), and typically less than that of the base metal alloys. wear the enamel of the teeth opposing the restoration. ELONGATION The elongation is a measure of the ductility of the alloy. For crown and bridge applications, the value of elongation for an alloy is generally not a big concern because permanent deformation of the alloys is generally not desirable. However elongation will indicate whether the alloy can be burnished. Alloys with high elongation can be burnished with out fracture. In the hardened condition, the elongation will drop significantly. For example, for the AuCu-Ag-Pd-II alloys, the elongation is 30% in soft condition versus only 10% in hardened condition. In the soft condition, the elongation of noble dental casting alloys ranges from 8 to 30%. These alloys are substantially more ductile than the base metal alloys, which have elongation on the order of 12%. HEAT TREATMENT OF HIGH NOBLE METAL ALLOYS Gold alloys can be significantly hardened if the alloy contains a sufficient amount of copper. Types I and II alloys usually do not harden, or they harden to a lesser degree than do Types III and IV alloys. The actual mechanism of hardening is probably the result of several different solidstate transformations. Although the precise mechanism may If the hardness of an alloy is greater than enamel, it will tend to
be in doubt, the criteria for successful hardening are time and temperature.
Alloys that can be hardened can, of course, also be softened. In metallurgic terminology the softening heat treatment is referred to as solution heat treatment. The hardening heat treatment is termed age hardening. SOFTENING HEAT TREATMENT The casting is placed in an electric furnace for 10minutes at a temperature of 700°C (1292°F) and then it is quenched in water. During this period, all intermediate phases are presumably changed to a disordered solid solution, and the rapid quenching prevents ordering from occurring during cooling. The tensile strength, proportional limit, and hardness are reduced by such a treatment but the ductility is increased. The softening heat treatment is indicated for structures that are to ground. Shaped or otherwise cold worked, either in or out of the mouth. Although 700°C is an adequate average softening temperature, each alloy has its optimum temperature, and the manufacturer should specify the most favorable temperature and time. HARDENING HEAT TREATMENT
The age hardening or hardening heat treatment of dental alloys can be accomplished in several ways. One of the most practical hardening treatments is by ‘ soaking’ or aging the casting at a specific temperature for a definite time, usually 15 to 30 minutes, before it is water quenched. The aging temperature depends on the alloy composition but is generally between 200°C (400°F) and 450°C (840°F). The manufacturer specifies the proper time and temperature. Ideally, before the alloy is given an age-hardening treatment, it should be subjected to a softening heat treatment to relieve all strain hardening, if it is present, and to start the hardening treatment with the alloy as a disordered solid solution. Otherwise there would not be a proper control of the hardening process, because the increase in strength, proportional limit, and hardness and the reduction in ductility are controlled by the amount of solid-state transformations allowed. The transformations, in turn, are controlled by the temperature and time of the agehardening treatment. Because the proportional limit is increased during age hardening, a considerable increase in the modulus of resilience can be expected. The hardening heat treatment is indicated for metallic partial dentures, saddles, bridges, and
other similar structures. For small structures, such as inlays, a hardening treatment is not usually employed. The yield strength, the proportional limit, and the elastic limit are all measures of essentially the same property. This property reflects the capacity of an alloy to withstand mechanical stresses without permanent deformation. In general, the yield strengths increase when progressing from Type I to Type IV alloys. Age hardening substantially increases the yield strength. The hardness values for noble metal correlate quite well with the yield strengths. Traditionally, hardness has been used for indicating the suitability of an alloy for a given type of clinical application. The elongation is a measure of ductility or the degree of plastic deformation an alloy can undergo before fracture. A reasonable amount of elongation is essential if the clinical application requires deformation of the as-cast structure, such as is needed for clasp and margin adjustment and burnishing. Age hardening reduces the elongation, in some cases significantly. Alloys with low elongation are brittle materials and fracture readily if deformed. CASTING SHRINKAGE Most metals and alloys, including gold and the noble metal alloys, shrink when they change from the liquid to the
solid state. Such a consideration is very important in dental casting procedure. For example, if a mold for an inlay is an accurate reproduction of the missing tooth structure, the cast gold inlay is an accurate reproduction of the missing tooth structure, the cast gold inlay will be too small by the amount of its casting shrinkage. The shrinkage occurs in three stages: 1) the thermal contraction of the liquid metal between the temperature to which it is heated and the liquidus temperature; 2) the contraction of the metal inherent in its change from the liquid to the solid state: and 3) the thermal contraction of the solid metal that occurs down to room temperature. The first mentioned contraction is probably of no consequence, because as the liquid metal contracts in the mold, more molten metal can flow into the mold to compensate for such shrinkage. The values for the casting differ for the various alloys presumably because of differences in their composition. It has been shown, for example, that platinum, palladium, and copper all are effective in reducing the casting shrinkage of an alloy. The value for casting shrinkage of pure gold closely approaches that of its maximal linear thermal contraction. In general, it is apparent that the values obtained for the casting shrinkage are less than the linear thermal shrinkage values, even though the casting shrinkage as obtained included both the solidification shrinkage and
thermal shrinkage. This condition can be accounted for by two logical assumptions, 1) when the mold becomes filled with molten metal, the metal starts to solidify at the walls of the mold because the temperature of the mold is less than that of the molten metal; and 2) during initial cooling, the first layer of metal to solidify against the walls of the mold is weak, and it tends to adhere to the mold until it gains sufficient strength as it cools to pull away. When it is sufficiently strong to contract independently of the mold, it shrinks thermally until it reaches room temperature. The important consideration is that the thermal
shrinkage of the first weak solidified layer is initially prevented by its mechanical adhesion to the walls of the mold. During this period, it is actually stretched because of its interlocking with the investment material. Thus, any contraction occurring during solidification can be eliminated. Also, part of the total thermal contraction can be eliminated, with the result that the observed casting shrinkage is less than might be expected on the basis of the possible stages of he shrinkage. Because the thermal contraction as the alloy cools to room temperature dominates the casting shrinkage, the higher melting alloys tend to exhibit greater shrinkage. This must be compensated for in the casting technique if good fit is to be obtained.
23 Linear Solidification Shrinkage of Casting Alloys
Alloy Type I, gold base alloy Type II, gold base alloy Type III, gold base alloy Ni-Cr-Mo-Be alloy Co-Cr-Mo alloy Casting shrinkage (%) 1.56 1.37 1.42 2.3 2.3
RESTORATIONS In 1927, the Bureau of standards established gold casting alloy Types I through IV according to dental function, with hardness increasing from Type I to Type IV. But based on the 1989 revision of specification No.5 by the ADA, the following four alloy types are classified by their properties and not by their compositions: Type I (soft)- small inlays, easily burnished and subject to very slight stress Type II (medium)- inlays subject to moderate stress, including thick three quarter crowns, abutments, pontics, and full crowns Type III (hard)- inlays subject to high stress, including thin three –quarter crowns, thin cast backings, abutments, pontics, full crowns and denture bases, and short-span fixed partial dentures. Some Type III gold alloys usually can be age hardened, especially those containing at least 8-wt% of copper.
Type IV (extra hard)- inlays subject to very high stresses, including denture base bars and clasps, partial denture frameworks, and long span fixed partial dentures. The compositions of these alloys are usually based on a majority of either gold or silver; gold alloys can be age hardened by an appropriate heat treatment. Composition Range (weight percent) of Traditional Types I to IV Alloys
Alloy Type I II III III III IV IV Metal Ceramic Main Elements High noble (Au base) High noble (Au base) High noble (Au base) Noble (Au base) Noble (Ag base) High noble (Au base) Noble (Ag base) High noble (Au base) Au 83 77 75 46 --56 15 52 Cu 6 7 9 8 --14 14 --Ag 10 14 11 39 70 25 45 --Pd 0.5 1 3.5 6 25 4 25 38 Sn, In, Fe, Zn, Ga Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance
Types I and II alloys are often referred to as inlay alloys. The development of modern direct and indirect toothcoloured filling materials has virtually eliminated the use of types I and II gold alloys. Traditional Types III and IV alloys are generally called crown and bridge alloys, although Type IV alloys also are used occasionally for high-stress applications such as removable partial denture frameworks. Physical Properties of Some Modern Noble Metal Dental Alloys
Yield Strength Alloy Type Main Elements High noble High noble Melting Range Density (g/cm )
(15,000 ) (27,000 )
III High noble Noble Ag-Pd noble High noble High noble Noble Metal ceramic 924-960°C 843-916°C 1021-1099°C 921-943°C 871-932°C 930-1021°C 1271-1304°C 15.5 12.8 10.6 15.2 13.6 11.3 13.5 207 241 262 275 372 434 572 (30,000 ) (35,000 ) (38,000 ) (40,000 ) (54,000 ) (63,000 ) (83,000 ) 121 138 143 149 186 180 220 39 30 10 35 38 10 20
* High noble
RESTORATIONS The disadvantage of dental porcelain as a restorative material is its low tensile strength and shear strength. Although porcelain can resist compressive stresses with reasonable success, substructure design does not permit shapes in which compressive stress is the principal force. A method by which this disadvantage can be minimized is to bond the porcelain directly to a cast alloy substructure made to fit the prepared tooth. If a strong bond is attained between porcelain veneer and the metal, the porcelain veneer is reinforced. Thus, the risk of brittle fracture can be avoided or, at least, minimized. To fabricate this restoration, a metal substructure is waxed, cast, finished, and heat-treated. A thin layer of opaque porcelain is fused to the metal substructure to initiate the porcelain-metal bond and mask the colour of the substructure. Then dentin and enamel porcelains, sometimes referred to as body and incisal porcelains, are
fused onto the casting, shaped, stained to improve the aesthetic appearance, and glazed. The original metal-ceramic alloys contained 88% gold and were much too soft for stress-bearing restorations such as fixed partial denture. Because there was no evidence of a chemical bond between these alloys and dental porcelain, mechanical retention and undercuts were used to prevent detachment of the ceramic veneer. It was found that the bond strength of the porcelain to this type of alloy was less than the cohesive strength of the porcelain. So if failure occurred in the metal-ceramic restoration, it would most probably arise at the porcelain-metal interface. By adding less than 1% of oxide forming elements such as iron, indium, and tin to this high-gold alloy, the porcelain –metal bond strength improved three fold. Iron also increases the proportional limit and strength of the alloy. This 1% addition of base metals to the gold, palladium, and platinum alloy was all that was necessary to produce a slight oxide film on the surface of the substructure to achieve a porcelain-metal bond strength level that surpassed the cohesive strength of the porcelain itself. Metal-ceramic alloys also fall into one of the three general categories- high noble, noble, or base metal. In spite of vastly different chemical compositions, all the alloys share atleast three common features: 1) they have the potential to bond to dental porcelain, 2) they possess coefficients of
porcelains; and 3) their solidus temperature is sufficiently high to permit the application of low-fusing porcelains.
The coefficient of thermal expansion tends to have a reciprocal relationship with the melting point of alloys and the melting range of alloys; that is, the higher the melting temperature of a metal, the lower is its thermal expansion. This fact is important in formulating metal-ceramic alloys for different dental porcelains. Gold-based Metal-Ceramic alloys- PFM alloys containing more than 40 wt% gold at least 60 wt% of noble metals (gold plus platinum and palladium and /or the other noble metals) are generally classified as high noble. Gold-platinum-palladium alloys - these alloys have a gold content ranging up to 88% with varying amounts of palladium, platinum, and small amounts of base metals. Some of these alloys are yellow in colour. Alloys of this type are susceptible to sag deformation, and fixed partial dentures should be restricted to three-unit spans, anterior cantilevers, or crowns. Gold-Palladium-Silver Alloys- These gold-based alloys contain between 39% and 77% gold, up to 35% palladium, and silver levels at high as 22%. The silver increases the
thermal contraction coefficient, but it also has a tendency to discolour some porcelains. Gold-Palladium Alloys- A gold content ranging from 44% to 55% and a palladium level of 35% to 45% is present in these metal-ceramic alloys, which have remained popular despite their relatively high cost. The lack of silver results in a decreased thermal contraction coefficient and the freedom from silver discoloration of porcelain. Alloys of this type must be used with porcelains that have low coefficients of thermal contraction to avoid the development of axial and circumferential tensile stresses in porcelain during the cooling part of the porcelain firing cycle. MATERIAL CHOICE FOR A CAST RESTORATION Several years ago the choice of an alloy for a cast restoration was simple, insofar as there was no other choice than the four types of gold alloy. At the present time, however, the choice is made difficult not only due to the various alloys available to the profession, but also to the availability of cast ceramics. It is the dentist’s duty both to understand the properties of the cast materials used, and to prepare the teeth and manipulate the materials to get the most out of them. It is also our professional responsibility to inform the patient of the advantages and possible drawbacks of the material used and the measures required by the dentist and patient to prevent any shortcomings from making the restoration a failure.
Without doubt, gold alloys maintain several advantages primarily because the technique for fabricating a cast restoration in a gold alloy has been preferred over the years. This does not mean that newer materials are not suitable for oral use. It is fair to say that they still have a long way to go to arrive to the current status of gold alloys. Gold alloys are usually indicated when the casting has lengthy margins with the possibility of marginal discrepancies, even with the most meticulous technique. The burnishability of these types of gold alloys makes it easy to adjust these margins after fabricating the casting. When using a class I alloy for a single tooth restoration, if the casting is going to be subjected to normal and above normal type of loading, type III gold alloys are the ideal alloys to use. Type II gold alloys are used only in smaller castings and in areas of normal and less than normal loading. Type I gold alloys are seldom used. They are indicated for use in areas with no direct occlusal loading, e.g., class V and III restorations. The softness of the alloy makes it easy to adapt the margins properly at these locations. Type IV gold alloys are rarely used in single tooth restorations, but may be indicated if the casting will be carrying an attachment for a partial denture, or if it is a part of a long splint, i.e., the casting will be subjected to unusually high loading situations.
In evaluating class II alloys present clinical data reveal that there is little different between them and class I alloys. The major difference is in their tarnish and corrosion resistance, especially when the gold content gets lower than 40%. Therefore, they can be used in lieu of high gold alloys in areas with low corrosion activity, but the patient should be
Phase diagrams for binary combination of A, copper and gold, B, copper and palladium, C, silver and gold, D, silver and palladium, E, palladium an gold, F, gold an platinum. Atomic percentages are shown along the bottom of each graph; weight percentages are shown along the top. L= liquidus, S=solidus.
advised of what to expect. The tooth preparation and cast fabrication are no different than those for class I alloys, and these alloys are definitely much less expensive than class I alloys.