Dental Replacement Materials

The choice can be tough: Different types of dentures consist of different types of materials, each displaying their very own advantages and disadvantages. Some are prejudged, others are said to be expensive. Your sister-in-law is unhappy with the material applied in her case and watched a report on TV addressing the issue of multiple synthetics, metal alloys, and ceramics. Some of these are applied frequently and are well researched, others haven’t been on the market for too long. Consult your trusted dentist! There is a whole range of possibilities – you’ll see. The most suitable material for your situation will be identified quickly. As part of this decision process, you should be sure to consider and evaluate three criteria: Compatibility, suitability in your particular case, and of course costs.  

Ceramics, titanium, synthetics, gold, zircon, non-precious metal alloys, and amalgam constitute the most frequently applied modern-day materials.


Particularly in terms of its color scheme, ceramics can hardly be distinguished from real teeth. Whenever esthetic requirements are paramount, occlusally stable modern dental ceramics usually end up being first choice. Ceramics can be applied with implants, bridges, veneers, or inlays. However, ceramics tend to be the most expensive type of treatment due to the complex manufacturing process: For this reason, health insurance providers only tend to bear the costs in the case of visible veneering.


Titanium is usually applied in combined use with implants and has proven reliable particularly due to its high level of compatibility. The human body is not capable of identifying titanium as a foreign object and thus absorbs it little by little as if it were autologous tissue. The use of titanium is also popular with bridges, crowns, and prostheses.


In terms of colorfulness and transparency, synthetics do not meet the high demands that ceramics do, however, they tend to be less costly and utterly stable. For this reason, they are frequently used in the case of fillings, crown veneers as well as total prostheses.


The gold applied in dentistry is never pure as this would make it too soft and deformable. However, as an alloy in combination with silver, platinum or zinc, gold is very robust and resilient. In addition, gold tends to be very well tolerated and is therefore often used with crowns, bridges, golden inlays, and pencil superstructures. Whenever adaptations of color are requested, subsequent veneering is performed. Due to the high price of gold, procedures involving this material tend to be rather costly.


Zircon (actually zirconicum dioxide) is metal-free, highly compatible, and becoming increasingly popular as a material applied in the field of dentistry. The human body tends to tolerate it very well, it is utterly stable, and can be applied very well in wafer-thin veneers. Furthermore, it can be used in bridges, crowns, and even zircon implants.

Non-Precious Metal Alloys

Non-precious metal alloys (NEM) are also used with crowns and bridges, but also with telescopes and model casting prostheses. They are light, easy to handle and thus inexpensive. There are many different options to choose from with varying compatibility.


Amalgam does not have a good reputation; this is because approx. 50 percent of its volume consists of quicksilver, which is not necessarily well tolerated by many humans. However, it is important to emphasize that to this day, there is no scientific evidence pointing to a risk of poisoning, and health insurance providers still tend to classify it as non-hazardous. At the same time, its black-and-silver color is another reason for the declining use of amalgam within the last few years. It is never actually used as a material in dentures, however, due to its high levels of stability and resilience, its use remains popular particularly in the case of large-scale fillings.