Filling the Gaps on Dental Ceramics


Very few people relish the thought of a trip to the dentist; yet few think beyond the pink mouthwash and the waiting room magazines to the very materials that are designed to replace missing or damaged dental structures. The false teeth, crowns and bridges that give us the film star smiles we desire.

The enamel protecting our teeth is the hardest material in our bodies. It is classed as a ceramic and material such as this is what dental engineering addresses. For years, metal and plastic have been used, but now the use of ceramics is increasing because of its physical and aesthetic attributes.

Durability, resistance to wear, acidity, temperature and stress (i.e. – biting/grinding) are characteristics we all associate with our teeth, but dental ceramics also need to be stable, non-allergenic, non-toxic and easy to handle for dental technicians. The fineness or smoothness of the material is also significant – everyone has experienced the ‘magnifying effect’ of the tongue on a chipped tooth or roughly finished filling, so it is essential to engineer a material that can be fully polished.

Specialist engineering company Hosokawa Micron Ltd hasbeen helping achieve the smoothness required of dental ceramics for many years through their range of specialist milling equipment used to produce the ultrafine ceramic powders used in the manufacture of dental structures and fillings. This highly specialised equipment is suitable for milling a range of dental compounds including alumina ceramic, zirconia ceramic and silicate ceramic as well as filling compounds and dental cement to fine powders with particles as small as 0.2µm.

Hosokawa Micron has extensive experience in designing dental ceramic, ball milling, jet milling and mixing equipment that ensures no ferrous metal contamination as well as accurate material fineness suited to specific dental applications.

Perhaps next time you are sitting in the dentist’s chair you might consider not only the more traditional methods of producing the dental ceramics of today, but also ponder about the nano-technology of the future that will deliver new dental ceramics to the market, possibly even finer and smoother than today’s ceramics.

Opportunities for bespoke ceramics will become more economically viable and widespread and, when combined with 3D printing techniques, we can perhaps all look forward to improved teeth replacements – giving us all something to smile about.

Stewart Bryan

Stewart Bryan is the Business Team Manager/Commercial Manager at Hosokawa Micron Ltd and is involved with the ongoing development of Hosokawa’s containment equipment portfolio and the advancement of remote monitoring and performance improvement solutions across a range of processing industries. His experience spans the range of powder processing technologies including mixing, milling and drying.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.