Zirconia crowns are caps that cover a tooth or a dental implant. Dentists often recommend crowns as a way to support broken, weak, or misshapen teeth.
Zirconia crowns can also be used to cover up a tooth that’s very worn down or severely discolored. They can also be used in conjunction with bridges to strengthen multiple teeth.
When it comes to the materials that crowns are made of, you have several possible options, including ceramic and metal. Another option that’s now available for some people is a zirconia crown.
Zirconia crowns are made from zirconium dioxide, a very durable type of metal that’s related to titanium, although it’s categorized as a type of ceramic crown.
Zirconia Crowns benefits
Crowns made of zirconia are becoming increasingly common, and they do offer some advantages.
- Zirconia Crowns Strength
One of the biggest advantages of zirconia is its strength and durability. Consider how much force your back teeth exert on the food that you chew.
Your crowns need to be made of a strong material, so zirconia may be a good choice for crowns in the back of your mouth. Also, because zirconia is so strong, a dentist won’t have to do as much preparation of your tooth.
- Zirconia Crowns Longevity
Zirconia-based crowns fared just as well over the course of 5 years as metal-based crowns, according to a 2017 randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Dentistry. And crowns made of zirconia, called monolithic zirconia crowns, are especially durable.
- Zirconia Crowns Biocompatibility
Zirconia is the choice of many dentists for its biocompatibility, which means it’s less likely to provoke the body into producing a reaction or immunological response like inflammation.
A 2016 in vitro studyTrusted Source confirms this, and it also found only a limited amount of cytotoxicity.
Zirconia Crowns Same-day procedure
Many dentists can make zirconia crowns in their offices rather than sending an impression of your tooth to a lab to have a crown made. Then, cement the crown into your mouth in a single visit.
The CEREC, or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, process uses computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology to speed up this process. The dentist uses a dental milling machine to actually make the crown from a block of zirconia.
This process eliminates the need to stretch the procedure into two visits. However, not every dentist office has this technology in-house or offers zirconia crowns.
Disadvantages of having a zirconia crowns
Like many other dental procedures, there can be potential disadvantages to getting a zirconia crown.
Zirconia Crowns Can be hard to match
One potential disadvantage of a zirconia crown is its opaque appearance, which can make it look less than natural. This is especially true for monolithic zirconia crowns, which are made just from zirconia, although it may be less of an issue for teeth in the back of your mouth.
Potential wear on other teeth
Some dentists have been hesitant to use zirconia crowns in some circumstances for fear that the hardness of the zirconia could cause wear and tear on opposing teeth.
While that may be a concern, a 2012 study in the Journal of Dentistry found that feldspathic porcelain was much more likely than zirconia ceramic to cause wear on the enamel of opposing teeth.
Zirconia Crowns With Porcelain
You’ve just learned that zirconia can be a little hard to match to the rest of your teeth because of the material’s opacity. That’s why some dentists will layer porcelain on top of the zirconia when making the crown.
A crown that’s composed of zirconia with a layer of porcelain will give it a more natural appearance that can be easily color-matched to your surrounding teeth.
Types of zirconia Crown
There are two types of zirconia: solid and high translucent. Both of them can be made using CAD-CAM technology.
CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design and CAM stands for Computer-Aided Manufacturing. These technologies give you a precise fit and unmatchable look.
- As the name suggests solid zirconia is tougher compared to high translucent zirconia. It can withstand chewing forces as well as bruxism forces better.
- Solid zirconia also suits root canal treated teeth, by offering stronger support for the weak teeth.
- As it’s opaque, it’s more suited for posterior/back teeth.
High translucent zirconia
- This type of zirconia gives you a superior look that exactly resembles your natural teeth. It is more suited for anterior/front teeth.
- Its strength is higher than porcelain fused to metal crowns.
- If you need extensive orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment of your teeth, your dentist may not prefer high translucent zirconia.
- Which is better zirconia or porcelain crown?
Zirconia is usually the preferred choice, as it is more durable and stronger. Esthetics used to be the main advantage of porcelain crowns, but nowadays zirconia crowns are also highly esthetic. However be sure to discuss your options with your dentist, as in your particular case porcelain might be a better option.
- How long do zirconia crowns last?
The average lifetime of a dental crownis around 10-25 years. If you exercise proper oral hygiene, your zirconia crown can last 15 years or more.
- Are zirconia crowns safe?
Yes, zirconia crowns are safe. Zirconia is metal-free, allergic reactions to this material are very-very rare. They are also very strong, don’t crack or chip, so they should last several years, even a lifetime if you don’t neglect your oral hygiene.
- Can zirconia crowns break?
Since zirconia is very durable, these crowns rarely break. However, problems during the manufacturing and preparation phases might cause crown fractures. Things like sharp edges or not removing enough tooth material (that means the crown will be too thin) might cause fractures.
- Do zirconia crowns stain?
Zirconia has good resistance to staining. This is because it’s non-porous material – unlike porcelain. Minor surface stains caused by coffee, cigarettes, and some other foods can usually be removed by your dentist during your regular check-up.
Zirconia Crown Price
In general, Zirconia crowns in general at Turkey can be very pricey, costing anywhere from $150 and $300.