Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 1037-1042

First online:

Clinical applications of glass-ceramics in dentistry

  • Wolfram HölandAffiliated withIvoclar Vivadent AG, Principality of Liechtenstein Email author 
  • , Volker RheinbergerAffiliated withIvoclar Vivadent AG, Principality of Liechtenstein
  • , Elke ApelAffiliated withIvoclar Vivadent AG, Principality of Liechtenstein
  • , Christian van ’t HoenAffiliated withIvoclar Vivadent AG, Principality of Liechtenstein
  • , Marlies HölandAffiliated withUniversity of Applied Sciences and Technology
  • , Alex DommannAffiliated withUniversity of Applied Sciences and Technology
  • , Marcel ObrechtAffiliated withZürcher Hochschule Winterthur
  • , Corinna MauthAffiliated withZürcher Hochschule Winterthur
  • , Ursula Graf-HausnerAffiliated withZürcher Hochschule Winterthur

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Glass-ceramics featuring special properties can be used as a basis to develop biomaterials. It is generally differentiated between highly durable biomaterials for restorative dental applications and bioactive glass-ceramics for medical use, for example, bone replacements. In detail, this paper presents one biomaterial from each of these two groups of materials.

In respect to the restorative dental biomaterials, the authors give an overview of the most important glass-ceramics for clinical applications. Leucite, leucite-apatite, lithium disilicate and apatite containing glass-ceramics represent biomaterials for these applications. In detail, the authors report on nucleation and crystallization mechanisms and properties of leucite-apatite glass-ceramics. The mechanism of apatite nucleation is characterized by a heterogeneous process. Primary crystal phases of α - and β -NaCaPO4 were determined.

Rhenanite glass-ceramics represent biomaterials with high surface reactivity in simulated body fluid, SBF, and exhibit reactive behaviour in tests with bone cells. Cell adhesion phenomena and cell growth were observed. Suitable colonization and proliferation and differentiation of cells as a preliminary stage in the development of a material for bone regeneration applications was established. The authors conclude that the processes of heterogeneous nucleation and crystallization are important for controlling the required reactions in both biomaterial groups.