Zirconia vs Porcelain Crowns
Zirconia dental crowns are a great option for patients who need crowns on their back teeth that take a lot of bite force during chewing. Zirconia is a metal oxide derived from zirconium, which is a metal in the titanium family. Zirconia is naturally strong and durable, making it an ideal material for dental crowns. A lot of dentists exclusively use zirconia or porcelain restorations because of their strength, especially when restoring a single tooth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns have been used for years and are very strong as well but zirconia or other all-porcelain restorations are becoming more popular because of their strength and excellent aesthetics.
PFM crowns are a combination of metal with a porcelain overlay that is tinted to match your natural teeth. Overtime, gum recession can expose the underlying metal on the tooth at the gum line which will cause the crown to need to be replaced.
What benefits does zirconia provide over PFM crowns?
PFM crowns are extremely durable but zirconia can provide strength and durability at least three times stronger than that of porcelain or PFM restorations. Zirconia is resistant to standard wear and tear whereas porcelain can chip from bruxism or extreme chewing. Zirconia crowns are milled from a single, solid block of zirconia that enables them to withstand the abuse from the back of the mouth better than porcelain crowns.
Additionally, the chemical composition and processing of zirconia enables it to be manufactured to meet the needs of each individual patient. The customization abilities minimizes the margin of error and enables the Dentist to provide an excellent fit for each case.
Further Benefits of Zirconia
PFM crowns have a metal layer beneath the visible, porcelain layer that can begin to show overtime due to age and gum recession which can lead to an unnatural looking restoration. Zirconia crowns contain no metal and allow the patient to have a beautiful, natural looking smile for years. Zirconia can also be fabricated to fit any tooth and shaped to match the rest of the patient's teeth.
Zirconia is also safer for patients, especially those who may suffer from a metal allergy. PFM crowns can lead to inflammation and irritation in the gum tissue so zirconia is often the better choice. Zirconia has high biocompatibility making the crowns and bridges fabricated using zirconia extremely safe for dental restorations.
Zirconia dental restorations have been used for years and provide strength and durability along with natural looking aesthetics. Patients that suffer from metal allergies have great success with zirconia restorations which can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Even if you do not have a metal allergy, zirconia crowns are a great option due to their durability. If you need a tooth restored or even multiple teeth, speak with your Dentist about a zirconia crown or bridge. Together, you can decide the best option to meet your individual needs.