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Metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites have both different types and numbers of bonds. During temperature changes, therefore, they respond differently. During temperature increases, more frequent atomic motions stretch bonds and produce net expansion. During temperature decreases, solids undergo contraction. The relative rate of change is called the coefficient of thermal expansion (or contraction). If it is referenced to a single dimension, called the linear coefficient of thermal expansion (LCTE), symbolized by the Greek letter alpha (a). The LCTE is expressed in units of inch/inch/F, cm/cm/ °C, or ppm/°C. Because the rate of change is small, the actual value is typically a multiple of 10 -6 cm/cm/°C and is reduced to ppm/°C. Ceramics typically have an LCTE from 1 to 15 ppm/°C. Metals typically have values from 10 to 30 ppm/°C. Polymers typically have values from 30 to 600 ppm/°C. The LCTE of tooth structure is approximately 9 to 11 ppm/°C. It is important that the LCTE of a restorative material be as near that of tooth structure as possible.
212. Polymer densities generally range from 0.8 to 1. extreme temperature changes or extended times of exposure to high temperatures will cause pulpal changes. dental cements that may be used as bases un-der metallic restorations act as insulators. One of the advantages of a composite is low thermal conductivity. such as when a tinfoil chewing gum wrapper contacts a cast gold restoration and produces a minor electrical shock. and that process would stimulate nerves in the pulp. Heat flow through a material is measured in terms of either the relative rate of heat conduction (thermal conductivity) or the amount of heat conduction per unit time (thermal diffusivity).2 g/cm3 . Electrical conductivity is a measure of the relative rate of electron transport through a material. the microcirculation of the pulp transports the heat entering the pulp away to other parts of the body where it is dissipated easily. Density is important in estimating the properties of mixtures of different materials (composites) because the final properties of the mixture are proportional to the volume of mixed materials (and not the weight). . Most metallic materials have relatively high densities ranging from 6 to 19 g/cm3 . If a galvanic cell (electrochemical cell) is present. Density is a material's weight (or mass) per unit volume. Generally. Under most circumstances. This is important for metallic restorations that easily conduct electricity. the relative density (or specific gravity) may be reported. Composites do not need liners/bases to provide thermal insulation. Mass properties of materials involve density or specific gravity. The dental pulp can withstand small temperature changes (from 37° C up to 42° C)19.273 for relatively short periods (30 to 60 seconds) without any permanent damage. Thermal diffusivity is the more important property because it determines the amount of heat flow per unit time toward the pulp through a restoration. Density is an important consideration for certain dental processing methods such as casting. then electrical current may flow. Ceramic densities are typically 2 to 6 g/cm 3 . However. On occasion. This may occur accidentally. Dense metal alloys are much easier to cast by centrifugal casting methods.
Linear Coefficients of Thermal Expansion .
Fluid efflux occurs during heating (expansion). Fluid influx occurs during cooling (contraction).coefficient of thermal expansion from tooth structure during intraoral temperature changes. .
absorption (and fluorescence). visible light) that involve reflection. 4-7). and/or transmission (Fig.g. . refraction. The radiation typically involves different intensities for different wavelengths (or energies) over the range of interest (spectrum).. Optical properties of bulk materials include interactions with electromagnetic radiation (e.
Physical properties determine how materials respond to changes in their environments. .
and this property must be taken into consideration when placing metallic restorations. the patient feels no sensitivity to heat and cold through a metallic restoration. Metals tend to be good conductors of heat. The rate at which heat flows through a material is expressed as thermal conductivity or thermal diffusivity. . Dentin is a thermal insulator (poor conductor of heat). thus. when a sufficient thickness of dentin is present.
Thermal conductivity (k) is a measure of the speed at which heat travels (in calories per second) through a given thickness of material (1 cm). Thermal conductivity is expressed in units of cal/cm × sec × . when one side of the material is maintained at a constant temperature that is 1°C higher than the other side.
heat capacity (Cp). and density (r): The relative thermal diffusivities of several dental materials are shown in Fig 2-8. The thermal diffusivity (h) of a material (expressed in units of mm2/sec) is dependent on its thermal conductivity. To know how quickly the interior of the crown will approach the temperature of the exterior. and tabular data on a variety of materials are included in . we need to know the thermal diffusivity of the alloy.
For example. and 1 gram of gold requires only 0. for instance.28 calorie. Thus. whereas 1 gram of dentin requires only 0.031 calorie to produce a 1°C temperature increase. Whereas thermal conductivity gives an idea of the relative rates at which heat flows through various materials. it fails to take into account the fact that various materials require different amounts of heat (calories) to raise their temperatures an equal amount.000 calorie to raise its temperature 1°C. 1 gram of water requires 1. how rapidly the interior surface under a crown will heat up when the exterior surface is heated . thermal conductivity alone will not tell us.
2-8 Thermal diffusivities of restorative materials. .
Some restorative materials have coefficients of thermal expansion that are markedly different from tooth structure. temperature fluctuations that occur in the mouth can cause percolation at the tooth-restoration interface as the restoration contracts and expands. The thermal expansion behavior of dental wax. composite. amalgam. are given in parentheses. . the actual thermal expansion would be too small to see. Figure 2-9 illustrates the relative values of linear coefficient of thermal expansion for tooth. In such cases. and acrylic resin. The cooling of a denture base from the processing temperature to room temperature is primarily responsible for the processing shrinkage that occurs. Thermal expansion There are several situations in dentistry in which the thermal expansion of materials is important. investment. The porcelain and metal in a porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) restoration must contract at the same rate upon cooling from the porcelain firing temperature if the buildup of large residual stresses is to be avoided. The thermal expansion coefficients. or the fractional changes in length per degree celsius. The diagram is only schematic¾the expansion has been magnified to make it visible. and so on are all important in producing properly fitting castings. gold alloy.
. The relative amounts the materials expand when heated the same amount are represented by the dashed lines. The amount of expansion is magnified to make it visible for comparison of the materials.Relative thermal expansions of several restorative materials and tooth structure.
The low resistivity of metallic restorative materials is responsible for discomfort to the pulp if dissimilar metals generate a voltage. The insulating properties of cements help to reduce this problem. .
Percolation occurs when the thermal expansion coefficient of the restoration is markedly different from that of tooth structure. percolation The pumping of oral fluids in and out at the tooth-restoration interface as the restoration contracts and expands with temperature changes. .
having a temperature difference of 1°C. . thermal conductivity The quantity of heat passing through a material 1 cm thick with a cross section of 1 cm2. thermal diffusivity Measure of the heat transfer of a material in the timedependent state.
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