Advantages of Zirconia Crowns
Dental crowns are a common dental restoration that is used to restore a tooth that is fractured and/or severely decayed. Dental crowns are also used to restore a dental implant and can be used as the anchor for a dental bridge or partial denture. Porcelain and base metals such as gold have been the traditional material used to fabricate dental crowns and the porcelain is a more natural looking and restoration, it can be prone to chipping. Gold crowns are less expensive but are not able to be color matched to the rest of the teeth and can have an unsightly appearance and can even cause allergic reactions in some patients.
Zirconia is a crystal material that is derived from zirconium which is a metal in the titanium family and therefore has great biocompatibility, even for patients with metal allergies. Zirconia crowns are incredibly durable and can be color matched to the rest of your teeth!
What are the advantages of a zirconia crown?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major advantages of having a crown made from zirconia.
- Biocompatibility: Biocompatibility is a material's ability to work within our body. Zirconia’s high biocompatibility provides a lower chance of infection, complications, discomfort, and allergic reactions.
- Durability and Longevity: Zirconia is nearly indestructible and can withstand the force applied when we chew and any additional abuse it may receive due to bruxism. Bruxism is the unconscious clenching or grinding many of us do in our sleep. It is also resistant to extreme hot and cold temperatures, which lowers the frequency of tooth hypersensitivity that can be common with other types of dental crowns. Zirconia crowns are more resistant to chipping and cracking that porcelain and therefore can last a lifetime without needing to be replaced!
- Aesthetics: This is a big one! When a patient needs a crown to save a tooth, it is important that they are comfortable with their end results. Zirconia is easily shaped and colored to match the surrounding natural teeth.
Zirconia crowns are strong in nature and therefore can be fabricated in a way that allows for less natural tooth structure loss. Even though they are thin, they can still withstand the rigors of chewing and bruxing. Zirconia does not need a metal base so it is much more natural-looking. Over time, the metal used for the base of a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown can begin to show at the gum line.
If your Dentist advises that you receive a dental crown due to extensive decay or a fracture, it is important to proceed with treatment as soon as possible. An untreated tooth will only get worse and can eventually become hopeless and need to be extracted. A dental crown can save your tooth for years to come. With proper care and maintenance, your crown can easily last 20 years or more. Speak with your Dentist to decide what material will best suit your individual needs.