Further Challenges for a Great Dental Lab Ceramist

Surface Texture on Porcelain Crowns and Porcelain Veneers

Once all the colors and shades of a porcelain crown or porcelain veneer are determined, there is the question of surface texture. If you look at a teenager’s teeth, you can tell that there is some surface texture to teeth; they are not totally smooth. The light reflects off the tooth surface, and that gives a more esthetic and younger look to the tooth. As one gets older, teeth get smoother due to friction and wear which remove some of the surface texture.

The Correct Amount of Surface Texture for That Patient

The ceramist requires some guidance from the dentist as to how much surface texture to place on the porcelain. According to Dr. Norman Huefner of Orange County, California, “the amount of surface texture placed on porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers is a subtle but very important issue that will effect how the teeth feel to the lips and tongue and how they will look.” The dentist will consult with the patient on this issue.

If one or two teeth are being treated, the rule of thumb is to match it to the teeth surrounding the prepared teeth—pretty easy. When the smile is getting a makeover, however, that’s where the technician can put in whatever he likes, depending on the effect that is trying to be created. I believe if the surface is totally smooth it looks a bit dead. Getting back some surface texture will make the smile look younger as the light bounces pleasingly off the teeth.


There’s nothing like watching a patient see their younger smile for the first time!