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DATE: 11/05/2016

Basic technique for building porcelain layers
Condensation of porcelain
Opaque porcelain
Cervical porcelain
Dentine porcelain
Cut back procedure
Enamel porcelain
Shade construction and characterization of natural teeth
Morphology of the anterior teeth
Journal article
Conclusive results

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Yamamoto (1985: 13) assets that a natural looking crown can be achieved if the crown
is made accurately following stipulated theoretical background even though it is a
difficult undertaking.

He further points out that the shade with depth in a ceramic

system can be obtained only with a sufficient thickness of translucent porcelain. There
are several factors that influence the natural shade in porcelain. These include among
others, thickness of the metal substructure and build-up of different layers of porcelain.

Basic technique for building porcelain layers

Building porcelain technique
The process of building porcelain can be divided into two sections; build-up procedure
and porcelain condensation.

Porcelain build up can be achieved through two

techniques namely:
a) Brush additive and
b) Spatula techniques
Brush additive technique
This technique which involves gradual building up of porcelain under a controlled
condition is suitable for expression of blended colours. Yamamoto (1985: 14)
recommends the brush technique for building up opaque enamel and special color
porcelain after cut back of the dentine.
Spatula technique

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Yamamoto (1985: 14) says that spatula technique is effective for building up dentine as
it allows great amount of porcelain material to be applied at one time thus finishing the
building-up process quickly. Most important, the two techniques should be selectively
used in particular steps to build-up porcelain quickly and correctly.

Porcelain condensation
One of the most important techniques in building porcelain is to pack the spatulated
porcelain as much as possible to minimize inclusion of air in the porcelain particles
before firing by means of condensation. The process can be achieved through vibration
and absorption of excess moisture by tissue paper. The vibration can either be done
manually by tapping the tweezers with a Lecron carver or by using electrical gadget
known as the ultrasonic vibrator illustrated in figure 1(a) and (b). This packing process
results in a lower firing shrinkage and less porosity in the fired porcelain thus increasing
the overall strength as well as the shade of the restoration. However, it should be taken
into account that condensation is done correctly as excess of the process will cause the
porcelain layers to slump together, resulting in an unaesthetic restoration. On the other
hand under condensation will not allow the excess liquid to be removed prior to firing,
resulting in porosity and increased firing shrinkage of the porcelain.

Figure 1 (a): Condensation using

Tweezers and a Lecron carver

Figure 1 (b): Ultrasonic vibration machine

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Opaque porcelain application

Opaque porcelain with other factors such as the color of the metal substructure
influences the foundation of the restoration. Yamamoto (1985: 18) refers the foundation
to the shade before body porcelain is built up. He further confirms that the cervical
porcelain and foundation stains affect the shade of the foundation.

The opaque

porcelain should be thoroughly condensed to enhance bond strength with the metal
(Yamamoto 1985: 23). The opaque porcelain has several functions such as:
Creating the basic shade of the restoration
Masking the underlying metal substructure as well as
Enhancing the bond between porcelain and metal
In order to achieve an even coating of opaque porcelain onto a metal substructure the
following points have to be taken into account:
Kneading porcelain to proper consistency
Vibrate by tapping the mixture with spatula grip to exclude as much air bubbles
as possible
Build up porcelain with brush additive technique
Wetting ability Prior to porcelain build-up the metal should be wet with water to
improve the wetting ability of the kneaded porcelain with the metal surface
Condensation- makes the fluid of the mixture of porcelain to flow from higher to
lower parts where porcelain tends to accumulate.
Yamamoto (1985: 26) advises that the applied opaque porcelain be dried before
either the once or twice opaque firing in order to achieve sintered opaque

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Figure 2

Figure 2 (a): Opaque porcelain







Figure 2 (b): Opaque porcelain


opaque porcelain which contributes to the basic colour of the restoration. However, if it
is not applied and sintered appropriately, un aesthetic restoration that may not be
clinically acceptable will be produced.
Cervical porcelain application
The cervical porcelain is slightly over built beyond the margin to compensate for firing
shrinkage says (Yamamoto 1985: 27). Cervical porcelain is as an alternative to a metal
margin and functions to avoid the dark shadow associated with a metal margin thus
enhance aesthetics as shown in figure 3 (a) and (b).

Figure 3 (a) Showing a crown with a

porcelain margin

Figure 3 (b): Showing a crown

with a metal collar

Dentine porcelain
The dentine porcelain should be built to mimic the morphology of the final crown. It is
used as reference for cut-back and support for the building of incisal porcelain. The

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selection of dentine colour is vital as it produces the shade of the restoration because it
combines with the underlying foundation shade. The built-up dentine porcelain should
also be condensed so that distergration of the crown prior to subsequent building
procedures does not occur.

Cut-back procedure
This procedure is important to obtain a wraparound effect and for optimum aesthetics.
Not only does the procedure provide space for enamel porcelain build-up but also for
forming the shape of the dentine. The procedure involves labial cut-back, proximal cutback and provision of a finger-like structure. The finger-like structure produces an area
with high translucency at the incisal region for aesthetic purposes.
Enamel porcelain
The enamel porcelain is applied evenly on the dentine at the incisal region. It should
extend beyond the incisal edge to have a contour similar to the finger-like structure.
Enamel porcelain is a transparent material that allows light to penetrate while the object
behind appears quite clear Yamamoto (1985: 44).
Morphology of the anterior teeth
It is important that the morphology of the anterior teeth is taken into consideration for
optimum aesthetic results.

The anterior restorations should mimic natural teeth in

texture, colour and form.

Special effects such as stains, mamelons, cracks and

perykymata should be incorporated as much as possible to duplicate the tooth

morphology of the natural teeth.
Shade construction and characterization of natural teeth
The final texture of the restoration should resemble the natural tooth.


the restoration should have characteristics of a natural tooth incorporating stains,

perykymata (deeper fine lines on cervical area), mamelons (two grooves cut in the
incisal third of the dentine) for aesthetic purposes. McLean (1980: 283) says in order to

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mimic a natural tooth, the structural defects, degrees of calcification and varying
thicknesses in enamel should be duplicated in the porcelain build up to enhance tooth
morphology. The root and cervical areas of the crown deserve special attention if they
are to blend harmoniously with the gingival tissue. Special effects in dental porcelain
are created with the use of supplementary colours of the basic dentine.
Types of Special effects: as illustrated in figure 4 below

Neck or gingival effects simulating root dentine

Dentine effects. Faults in calcification or structural defects
Incisal effects. Defects in calcification, cracks, structural defects, internal staining
Surface stains. Stain which occurs naturally on teeth produced by tobacco, food,
beverages, caries and other causes.

Figure 4: Showing special effects that characterize a restoration

such as stains, mamelons and perykymata

The crown should be thoroughly cleaned in water prior to immersing in ultra-sonic
cleaner using distilled water. The stains can be applied to either a dry or wet surface.

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These are finger-like structures created during the
building up of the crown. These are dentine lobes
originating in the tooth during its development. In
order to reproduce this effect, the crown is
completely built up in dentine porcelain and two
grooves are cut in the incisal third of the dentine
McLean (1980: 291) as in the figure 5.

Figure 5: Showing mamelons in a restoration

The purpose of glazing is to seal the open pores within the surface of the porcelain. As
result surface roughness, plaque accumulation and wear of porcelain is minimized.
Overall the aesthetics of the restoration is enhanced.

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Figure 6: Showing

glazed porcelain restorations

In conclusion, although difficult, fabricating a natural looking crown can be achieved by
compliance to the laid down procedures of porcelain application. Porcelain application
plays a vital role in producing an aesthetic restoration as well as incorporating special
effects such as staining, surface texture, perykymata, mamelons and other effects that
may be present on the natural teeth. If porcelain application is appropriately done, the
patient, dental technician and the dentist will be benefit in terms of saving time and
resources. In fact both the dental technician and the dentist will minimize loses as the
patients would be satisfied with the work.

Journal article
Title: The influence of condensation method on porosity and shade of body porcelain
To examine four methods of condensation (brush with vibration, ultra-sonic
vibration, and spatulation and non-condensation results in significantly different
porcelain shades as measured with a colorimeter.
To determine whether the condensation methods significantly affects the
apparent specific gravity (porosity) of dental porcelain.
To determine whether the method of condensation results in shade differences
as rated by subjective observers.

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Examination and data analysis: Standardized 12 X 12mm acetate plastic squares were
invested and cast with Olympia alloy. After oxidation, the metal substructures received
one of the following opaque and body porcelain, Ceramic II G series, Will-Ceram Vseries, Vita VMK 68 or Jelenko. The examination of each sample consisted of three
1) Apparent specific gravity analysis (porosity)
2) Tristimulus colorimeter analysis
3) Subjective observer colour analysis
Separate statistical were calculated for apparent specific gravity (porosity), colour
coordinates and observed shade differences. A two-way randomized analysis variance
(ANOVA) was performed on the apparent specific gravities and each of the colour
parameters L* (Lightness colour data), b* (yellow-blue colour data), a* (red-green)
colour data) for methods of condensation.
The differences in apparent specific gravity were not found between methods of
condensations within any of the four porcelains.
No significant differences in L* (lightness) colour data were noted between
methods of condensation within any of the four porcelains.
Within each of the four porcelains, significant differences in a* and b* colour data
were found between methods of condensation
Within the Will-Ceram and Vita VMK 68 Porcelain, significant colour
differences were subjectively observed between methods of condensation.

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However, the differences in colour were noted between methods of

condensation within several of the porcelain by both Tristimulus colorimeter and
subjective observers.

The control of porosity and colour in dental porcelain is critical for successful metal
ceramic restoration. It is evident from the results that the method of condensation had
no real effect on porosity but did affect the shade of restoration. The investigation does
not support Yamamoto who speculated that condensation method would influence
porosity but yet doubted that it would significantly the shade of porcelain.
The results of this study indicate that it may be advisable for dental manufacturers to
report particle size and distribution in the porcelain and to recommend the most
appropriate methods of condensation for each of the dental porcelain.
The objective of condensation is to produce a highly dense and compact arrangement
of particles with minimal amount of entrapped air. Condensation is not only a function of
the amount of air entrapped, but also of the particle size and distribution in the

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Douglas et al. 1990.The influence of condensation method on porosity and shade of
body porcelain. Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry 63, 2097227: pages 380 9, Available: (Accessed 20 April 2016).
Images of manual condensation and ultrasonic vibrator [Online, 2016]
McLean, J. W. 1980. The Science and art of Dental Ceramics: Volume II: Bridge Design
and Laboratory Procedures in Dental Ceramics: Chicago. Quintessence Publishing
Yamamoto, M. 1985. Metal-Ceramics. London: Quintessence Publishing