Sebastian Velez, a senior at Archbishop Molloy High School in Jamaica, NY, presented a paper entitled "Dependence of Translucency on Thickness for Various Ceramic Frameworks" during the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Mr. Velez is one of the youngest people ever to present at an AADR meeting.

Ceramics are materials of choice for full-coverage crowns and dental bridges (fixed partial dentures, or FPDs), because patients are increasingly demanding improved esthetics, biological acceptance, and chemical durability. Zirconia is the only ceramic material that meets the flexural strength requirements for PFDs of four or more units, as recommended by the International Organization for Standardization. Yet, while strong, zirconia has been veneered with esthetic porcelain for clinical acceptance because of its limited translucency. The strength of ceramic materials is determined by their thickness, while the esthetics is largely related to their translucency. A delicate balance of strength and esthetics needs to be found for dental crowns and FPDs. To date, no systematic research has been completed regarding how the translucency of zirconia changes with thickness. This study investigates the translucency of zirconia as a function of its thickness, and compares the results with more extensively studied dental ceramics; porcelain, glass-ceramics, and alumina.

Mr. Velez reports: "As an elementary school student, I probably annoyed my teachers to no end, always asking questions, never really satisfied until I knew more and more. My inquisitive nature is probably the reason I am involved with the New York University College of Dentistry research program. As a high school chemistry student, I was offered an opportunity to enter the program, and I jumped at it. I wanted to see how real researchers and scientists work. My experience at NYU was incredible. My mentors were down-to-earth people, amiable, and welcoming.

"I'm really enjoying my senior year and the courses I am taking, which include Advanced Placement Biology, AP Calculus BC, AP English Language, Participation in Government, and Literature and Psychology Honors. My favorites are probably English Language and Biology. I have always loved science and writing. I hope to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and study Chemical Engineering. I wish to reach a doctorate level in this field. My career dream is to be a college professor and researcher. "


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This is a summary of abstract #649, "Dependence of Translucency on Thickness for Various Ceramic Frameworks", by S. Velez, of Archbishop Molloy High School, Jamaica, NY, USA, presented during the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

Source: Linda Hemphill
International & American Association for Dental Research