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DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATIVE DENTISTRY

AND ENDODONTICS
Introduction
The dental profession has used precision-type
castings for the most part of century. Using the
lost wax technique, Taggart in 1907
developed a process for making castings used
in restoration of prepared teeth. Since the
process did not take into account all the
dimensional changes associated with the
casting technique, the resultant product did
exhibit some problems in terms of dimensional
accuracy.
Definition

Casting is a fabrication process whereby a totally molten


metal is poured into a mold cavity having a desired shape ;
upon solidification, the metal assumes the shape of the
mold.
Classification of Dental Casting
Alloys

Alloy Type Total noble metal content


High noble metal contains≥40 wt% Au and ≥60 wt% of
the noble metal elements (Au+Ir+Os
+Pt+Rh+Ru )
Noble metal Contains ≥25 wt% of the noble metal
elements

Predominantly base metal Contains <25 wt% of the noble metal


elements

Journal of American Dental Association (1984)


Classification of Alloys for All Metal Restorations , Metal Ceramic Restorations,
and Frameworks for Removable Partial Dentures
Alloy Type All Metal Metal Ceramic Removable Partial
Dentures

High Noble Au-Ag-Cu-Pd Au-Pt-Pd Au-Ag-Cu-Pd


Metal Ceramic alloys Au-Pd-Ag(5-12 wt%
Ag)
Au-Pd (no Ag)
Noble Ag-Pd-Au-Cu Pd-Au (no Ag) Ag-Pd-Au-Cu
Ag-Pd Pd-Au-Ag Ag-Pd
Metal Ceramic alloys Pd-Ag
Pd-Cu
Pd-Co
Pd-Ga-Ag
Base Metal Pure Ti Pure Ti Pure Ti
Ti-Al-V Ti-Al-V Ti-Al-V
Ni-Cr-Mo-Be Ni-Cr-Mo-Be Ni-Cr-Mo-Be
Ni-Cr-Mo Ni-Cr-Mo Ni-Cr-Mo
Co-Cr-W Co-Cr-W Co-Cr-W
Al bronze
Phillips’; Science of dental material ; 10th edition
Classification Of Traditional Casting
Alloys
TYPE HARDNESS USE

I Soft Single Surfaces

II Medium Inlays/Onlays

III Hard Crowns/Bridges

IV Extra Bridges & partial


dentures

JADA, Leinfelder ;1997;128;37-45


Casting Shrinkage
Most metals & alloys, including gold & noble metal
alloys, shrink when they change from the liquid to the
solid state.
Shrinkage occurs in 3 stages:
• The thermal contraction of the liquid metal between
the temperature to which it is heated and the liquidus
temperature.
• The contraction of metal inherent in its change from
liquid to the solid state.
• The thermal contraction of the solid metal that occurs
down the room temperature.

Phillips’; Science of dental material ; 10th edition


COMPENSATION FOR SHRINKAGE

• Setting or Hygroscopic expansion of investment


material: Hygroscopic low heat technique

• Thermal expansion of investment: High heat thermal


expansion technique
Hygroscopic low heat technique
Obtains its compensation expansion from 3 sources:
1. The 37˚C water bath expands the wax pattern
2. The warm water entering the investment mold from
the top adds some hygroscopic expansion
3. The thermal expansion at 500˚C provides the
needed thermal expansion.

Because of the potential for reduced venting, back


pressure porosity is a greater hazard in this
technique than the high heat technique, since the
investments generally employed with this technique
may be more dense.
High heat thermal Expansion
• Obtain its compensation expansion almost
entirely by burn-out.
• Additional expansion results from the slight
heating of gypsum investments on setting, thus
expanding the wax pattern, & the water
entering the investment from the wet liner,
which adds a small amount of hygroscopic
expansion to the normal setting expansion.
INVESTMENT MATERIALS
 Gypsum Bonded Investments
 Phosphate Bonded Investments
 Ethyl Silicate Bonded Investments

Phillips’; Science of dental material ; 10th edition


Gypsum Based Investments

The gypsum based investments have traditionally been used


for casting of gold alloy inlays, onlays, crowns and fixed
partial dentures.
Main Constituents:- a - hemihydrate of gypsum and quartz
which serves as a binder and gives strength to the investment.
Gypsum shrinks at a temperature range between 200 and
400˚C, it slightly expands between 400 and 700˚C and than it
undergoes significant shrinkage beyond 700˚C. Because of this
property, the gypsum should not be heated beyond 700˚C. In
order to compensate for this shrinkage (which could cause the
pattern void to expand) the pure gypsum moulds are
significantly undersized.
Silica is added to provide a refractory component. If silica is
added to the investment, this shrinkage can be reduced or even
turned into expansion.
Phillips’; Science of dental material ; 10th edition
Phosphate Bonded Investments

The spread of use of phosphate based investment is caused by


an increase in use of metal ceramic prosthesis, which require
higher melting temperatures than gold alloys.

The investment consists also of binders and refractory filler,


which are the same as for the gypsum based investments.
However, the binder in this case is magnesium oxide and a
monoammonium phosphate. Carbon is also often added to the
investment in order to help to produce a clean casting and to
encourage easier divesting of the casting from the mould.
Differently to the gypsum based investments, these investment
in practice do not show signs of setting shrinkage, but rather of
slight expansion.

Phillips’; Science of dental material ; 10th edition


Ethyl Silicate Bonded Investments
• Used in construction of high-fusing base metal
partial denture alloys.
• Binder is Silica gel which reverts to silica on
heating.
• This type of investment can be heated to
1090˚C -1180˚C & is compatible with higher
fusing alloys.
CASTING- LOST WAX
PROCEDURE
The process involves producing a metal casting using a
refractory mould made from a wax replica pattern.
The steps involved in the process or the lost wax casting are:
· Create a wax pattern of the missing tooth / rim
· Sprue the wax pattern
· Invest the wax pattern
· Eliminate the wax pattern by burning it (inside the furnace or
in hot water) .This will create a mould.
· Force molten metal into the mould - casting.
· Clean the cast.
· Remove sprue from the cast
· Finish and polish the casting on the die.
:SPRUE:
A sprue is the channel in a refractory investment mold
through which molten metal flows.
Figure 1 – Spherical reservoir on the vertical sprue (left), indirect
sprue with the horizontal reservoir bar

Sprue

Lost - Head
(Reservoir)

For preventing
cavities and
porosities, due to
thermal contraction
LINER:
Investment materials have a property of expanding on setting.If
the investment was confined on the outside this could cause
shrinkage of the of the mould / wax pattern.
In order to prevent this effect a flexible split ring or a rubber
ring could be used.
However, the most commonly used technique is to line the
casting ring with either an aluminosilicate liner or a cellulose
liner.
CASTING THE DENTAL ALLOY

Crucible Hot zone


(melting pot)

The molten mass

Casting mold
CASTING MACHINES
1. Centrifugal Casting Machine
2. Electrical
Resistance-
Heated Casting
Machine

3. Induction Melting
Machine
Melting Noble Metal Alloys:

There are several methods for melting of


alloys, which are combined with the casting
methods and appropriate casting machines.:
· Torch melting,
· Electrical melting.
Cleaning the cast:

. The dark surface of the casting can be removed by a


process called pickling – heating the discoloured
casting in an acid until the discoloration vanishes.
. Polishing of the casting is the final in its preparation.
Rubber, rag or felt wheels impregnated with abrasives
are used in the initial phase of this stage. Final
polishing is achieved using various oxides of tin and
aluminium used in conjunction with a small rag or
chamois buffing wheel, followed with an iron oxide
rouge.
CASTING DEFECTS
Defects in casting can be classified as:
1. DISTORTION
2. SURFACE ROUGHNESS &
IRREGULARITIES
3. POROSITY
4. DISCOLOURATION
5. INCOMPLETE CASTING OR MISSING
DETAIL
Distortion:
Causes-
• Distortion of wax pattern

• Due to uneven movement of the walls of wax pattern


when investment is setting. The gingival margins are
forced apart by the mold expansion, whereas the solid
occlusal bar of wax resists expansion during the early
stage of setting.
Solutions-
• Proper manipulation of wax & handling of the
pattern.
Poor Surface finish:
Causes-
• Air bubbles on the pattern
• Water films causing ridges & veins on the surface.
• Too rapid heating resulting in fins or spines
• Underheating causing incomplete elimination of wax
• Inappropriate water/powder ratio
• Prolonged heating
• Temperature of alloy too high
• Casting pressure too high
• Foreign bodies
• Impact of molten alloy
• Pattern position
Solutions-
• Use of Vacuum Investing Technique
• Vibrate before & after mixing
• Use a wetting agent to reduce surface tension of wax pattern.
• Air dry the wetting agent as excess water will dilute
investment, causing irregularities
• The mold should be heated gradually
• Heat the ring for sufficient period of time so that the
carbonaceous residue is removed
• Water/powder ratio should be accurate
• Gypsum bonded investments should never be heated above
700˚C
• Alloys submitted to vacuum casting showed decreased surface
roughness, compared to alloys submitted to acetylene- oxygen
flame casting.
Journal of Prosthetic dentistry, 2004, vol 92, 274-277
Porosity:

Porosity of the casting can be spread within the


casting and on its surface. The surface porosity
adds to surface roughness, but can also be a
sing of the internal porosity. The internal
porosity could weaken the casting, may cause
discoloration if spread to the surface and in
extreme cases could lead to a leakage.
Classification of porosities (According to Phillips’):

Porosities

Solidification
Trapped gases Residual Air
Defects

Localized Pinhole Gas


Microporosity
Shrinkage Porosity Inclusions

Subsurface
Porosity

Phillips’; Science of dental material ; 10th edition


Localized Shrinkage Porosity

Causes:
Generally caused by incomplete feeding of molten
metal during solidification.If the sprue is not properly
designed and implemented then it may solidify before
the feeding is complete thus preventing a continuous
supply of molten alloy. This type of defect usually
occurs close to the sprue-casting junction.
Solutions:
Ryge et al recommended the use of a sprue diameter
larger than the thickest cross section of the casting.

Journal of dental rest.; Jan 1981; vol 60; no1; page 59-67
Macroporosity:
Causes-
• Primarily a shrinkage porosity
• The portion of a cylindrical casting which solidifies
last is the low pressure side of the liquid metal close
to the free surface of the button, therefore
macroporosity always appears in this portion of
casting.
Solution-
• Reduce by providing a reservoir contiguous or close
to the low pressure end of the liquid metal
• It may be affected by the closeness of the individual
units in a multiple unit casting.

Phillips’; Science of dental material ; 10th edition


Journal of dental restoration; Jan 1981;vol 60; no. 1;page 59-67
HOT SPOT:-
Localized shrinkage porosity may result from
the formation of HOT SPOT when metal
impinges on the mold surface so that here the
metal remains molten while it solidifies
everywhere else. This hot spot causes the local
region to freeze last and result in SUCK BACK
POROSITY.
Solutions:
 Flare the point of sprue attachment

 Proper placement of sprue

 Do not use excessively long sprue

 Use a reservoir

 Reduce the mold-melt temperature differential

(i.e. lower the casting temperature by about


30˚C).
Microporosity:

Microporosity is also caused by solidification


shrinkage, but generally happens in fine grain
alloys when the solidification is too rapid for
the microvoids to segregate. This in turn is
caused the mould or casting temperature being
too low.
Trapped Gases
1. Pinhole Porosity
2. Gas Inclusion Porosity

• Both these porosities are related to the


entrapment of gas during solidification.
• Both are characterized by a spherical
contour.
• Gas inclusion porosities are much higher
than pinhole porosities.
SUBSURFACE POROSITY
Cause-
Simultaneous nucleation of solid grains and gas bubbles at the
first moment that the metal freezes at the mold walls

Solution-
• Diminished by controlling the rate at which the molten metal
enters the mold
• Ryge et al reported that subsurface & microporosities are
reduced by the use of a sufficiently long sprue & a melt
temperature of 100˚C-150˚C above the melting point of alloy.
• According to Leinfelder et al reported that long sprues are
preferable for thick castings while short sprues are beneficial
for thin castings i.e. the sprue design should be related to the
surface area-to-volume ratio of castings.
ENTRAPPED AIR POROSITY
• Referred to as Back Pressure porosity.
• Can produce large concave depression.

Causes-
Inability of the air in the mold to escape through the
pores in the investment or by the pressure gradient
that displaces the air pocket toward the end of the
investment via the molten sprue & button.

Journal of dental rest.; Jan 1981; vol 60; no1; page 59-67
Phillips’; science of dental materials; 10th edition
Solution-
• Proper burnout
• An adequate mold & casting temperature.
• A sufficiently high casting pressure
• Proper liquid : powder ratio.
• The thickness of investment between the tip of the pattern and
the end of the ring should not be greater than 6mm.
• Srickland & Sturdevant suggested that sprue design variables
have no effect on these porosities; venting, high melt
temperatures, proper positioning of the pattern in the ring,
choice of investment & the use of reservoir can assist in
reducing or eliminating the back pressure porosities.

Journal of dental rest.; Jan 1981; vol 60; no1; page 59-67
• Phillips’; science of dental materials; 10th edition
INCOMPLETE CASTINGS

Causes-
• Inadequate spruing ( sprue former too small)
• Alloy not hot enough
• Incomplete elimination of wax residues from the mold
• Mold too cold
• Ingate obstructed
• Insufficient casting force
Solutions-
• Use proper size of sprue former

• Casting temperature should be higher than the

liquidus temperature of alloy


• Ensure that no debris blocks the ingate

• Use adequate amount of force for casting


DISCOLOURATION
Causes-
• Sulphur contamination of casting causing black
castings
• Contamination with copper during pickling
• Contamination with mercury

Solution-
• Avoid overheating of investment
• Avoid use of torch flame as it contains sulphur
• Avoid use of steel tongs to hold casting during
pickling
• Castings should never be placed with amalgam dies
or kept on a table where amalgam scrap is present
References

• Phillips’; Science of dental materials; 10th edition.


• Journal of American Dental Association, Leinfelder
;1997
• Journal of American Dental Association: 1984
• Journal of Dental Restoration; Jan 1981; vol 60
• Journal of American Dental Association; 1993
• Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry; 1989
• Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry; 2004