What are the advantages of Zirconia Crowns?
Crowns have been used to repair broken teeth as far back as 4000 years ago. Bodies in the philippines have been found with gold teeth. Gold was a common material used in teeth repair and crowns for a long time. In modern dentistry, their are several different kind of compounds used to repair teeth. Common materials used have included titanium, porcelain, Gold, and since 2010 Zirconia.
What is Zirconia?
Zirconia is a metal oxide of Zirconium. It has immense strength and durability but is classified as a ceramic. Zirconia Implants can be monolithic, meaning that it is derived from a single strong piece, or layered. Zirconia has several major benefits, which is why it is so common in modern dentistry
- Strength- Zirconia has a unique tetragonal crystalline structure. Crystals are known for being strong structures. Zirconia, depending on the structure, has a recorded mohs scale score of 8.5. A Diamond, the hardest structure, is a 10. Zirconia at the right thickness is stronger than most other materials used in crowns, while also being metal-free.
- Biocompatibility- Metallic alloys can have adverse effects to patients. Many patients report discomfort or allergic reactions to metals used in dental crowns. With Zirconia you are using a ceramic which is perfectly compatible with our biochemistry. Zirconia will not interact negatively with the human body or cause allergic reactions. It can also be layered with porcelain, which is the main application of metals used in dental crowns.
- Appearance- Zirconia has a semi-opaque look naturally. It can be layered to be more opaque or more translucent as necessary for each tooth which it caps. Zirconia has a much more natural look than a metal or porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown. There is no unsightly metallic line, which is a huge relief to patients. If you want the most tooth like appearance, like the ones at the front of your smile, you can have you Zirconia crown layered with Porcelain.
- Lifespan- As a rule, Zirconia is less prone to chipping or cracking than porcelain or porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns. Because of this, and the durability, Zirconia could easily last a life time if cared for properly.
- Easier to hide tooth damage- It is easier to see marks or stains on the implant, and easier to hide damage from broken or stained teeth underneath the crown.
- Less tooth removal- In some cases, for the crown or cap, less actual tooth material may need to be removed for a Zirconia crown. It is strong and can be anchored or bonded easier.
- Easily reshaped, refitted, and replaced- Even though Zirconia is super strong, it is relatively easy to work with. It has even been reported that in the right hands, the replacement crown my be more ergonomic than the tooth it replaced.
No matter what material you choose, consult with your dentist. The strongest, most toothlike, most biocompatible option may be the right one for you; it may not. Be sure to consult with your dental health care professional about options.