We’ve all heard the phrase “the gold standard.” It refers to something that’s a standard for excellence – the best. For thousands of years, gold held that position among materials used in dentistry. Today, however, alternatives have emerged that have exceeded that extremely high standard.
One is an all-ceramic material known as e.max. E.max crowns are made from blocks of lithium disilicate. This is an extraordinary material – as tough and durable as gold but possessing a delicate translucency that looks extremely natural. Moreover, the amount of translucency can be varied to perfectly match the patient’s existing teeth.
To create an e.max crown, the laboratory technician takes a block of the material and presses it into a coping that gives it the right shape. Final processing perfects the optical properties. Alternatively, computer-driven milling machines can be used to sculpt the material. Such crowns include no metal, so they never have an unsightly dark line around the base.
The e.max material can be used for crowns, veneers, bridges, and other dental applications. Many common problems can be corrected with it: dental discoloration, worn or uneven teeth, spaces between teeth, cracked or chipped teeth, and more.