Terry Walton AM, BDS, MDSc, MS



Metal-ceramics - Back to the future or last man standing!

Learning objectives. 

1. The literature reporting long-term outcomes of dental prostheses is often lacking, confusing or deceptive.

2. Metal-ceramic prostheses have unparalleled long-term clinical outcomes.

3. Practice-based clinicians have an ethical dilemma concerning when to embrace new materials and     techniques.


New techniques and materials for fabrication of tooth- and implant-supported single unit crowns and FDPs have proliferated over the last few years. But are the claimed biological, mechanical, aesthetic and economic advantages real, or driven by vested interests and convenience. Does the science live up to the hype? The ethical dilemma  for the practice-based clinician, in this age of evidence-based treatments, is when to embrace the new and discard the old, especially when the supporting science is lacking, confusing or even deceptive. Where is the ethical/unethical divide? Is there still a place for metal- ceramics or are they ?old school? and will they go the same way as the acrylic-veneered metal constructions?  Is it a case of ?last man standing? to claim that metal-ceramic restorations remain the ?gold standard? for indirect prostheses?


Dr Terry Walton graduated with the BDS degree in 1974 and MDSc (prosthodontics) degree in 1979 from the University of Sydney, Australia and MS (fixed-prosthodontics) degree in 1981 from the University of Michigan. He   has been in specialist prosthodontic practice in Sydney since 1983 and currently holds the position of  Professor (Affiliate) in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Sydney. He is a member of many dental organisations including the International College of Prosthodontists, of which he was co-president in 2000-2001, the International College of dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy, and is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Prosthodontics. He has published many papers on the long-term outcomes of fixed tooth- and implant-supported prostheses. He was awarded an AM (Order of Australia, General Division) for services to Dentistry in 2007.