Advantages of cobalt chromium alloy in dental applications

September 05, 2023
Advantages of cobalt chromium alloy in dental applications
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Cobalt chromium (CoCr) alloys have been successfully used in dentistry for multiple applications, including prosthodontics and dental implants, due to their excellent mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility. When used for the fabrication of porcelain teeth or prosthetic restorations, these alloys offer several advantages:

1. Strength and Durability: CoCr alloy is known for its strength and hardness, which makes it an ideal material for dental restorations that must withstand significant forces, such as crowns and bridges. It offers good wear resistance and high fracture toughness, allowing cobalt chromium porcelain teeth to last many years with proper care.

2. Biocompatibility: CoCr alloys are highly biocompatible and rarely cause allergic reactions, making them a safe choice for patients. Cobalt chromium does not react with bodily fluids, and its stable and passive oxide film makes it resistant to corrosion in the oral environment.

3. Versatility: CoCr can be cast, milled, and used with various manufacturing processes, making it versatile in dental applications. It can be utilized in both traditional casting procedures and newer CAD/CAM digital fabrication technologies.

4. Porcelain Bonding: One of the important reasons for the use of CoCr in porcelain restorations is its excellent bonding to dental porcelain, necessary to achieve a robust and durable porcelain-metal composite restoration. The alloy allows for the production of restorations with a pleasing aesthetic appearance, as it imparts no discoloration to the overlying porcelain.

5. Lightweight: Despite its strength, cobalt chromium alloy is relatively lightweight, which contributes to the overall comfort of the dental appliance for the patient.

6. Dimensional Stability: CoCr alloy has low thermal expansion and is dimensionally stable. This ensures that the restoration retains its size and shape under varying temperature conditions in the mouth.

7. Economy: Compared to other options like gold, CoCr alloys are relatively inexpensive. Hence, they offer a cost-effective option for dental restorations, particularly when large or multiple restorations are needed.

However, it's important to note that while cobalt chromium porcelain teeth offer many benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as patient's allergies, cost considerations, aesthetic preferences, the position and condition of the tooth to be restored, and the dentist's professional judgement all play a role in the selection of materials for dental restorations.

Nonetheless, the combination of strength, biocompatibility, versatility, aesthetics, and cost effectiveness make cobalt chromium porcelain teeth a compelling option. Their widespread use in various dental prostheses, orthodontic appliances, and implant structures over many years is a testament to their ongoing value in dentistry.
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