Ceramics are used for many dental applications and are characterized in various ways, including by their hardness, brittleness, thermal and electrical insulation, and biocompatibility. The ceramics most commonly used in dentistry are oxides, particularly silicon dioxide (SiO2), or silica; aluminum oxide (Al2O3), or alumina; and zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), or zirconia. This article reviews the microstructure of current dental ceramic materials and how it relates to their mechanical properties, clinical techniques, and optical properties. Typical ceramics currently in use are described, and their clinically relevant properties such as strength, fracture, polishability, and wear are compared. Cementation methods are also discussed.