What Are Zirconia Crowns?

Dentists use a disk of zirconium dioxide to create zirconia crowns. The material is a product of metal zirconium, but it most resembles a ceramic, like porcelain. But, unlike porcelain, zirconia crowns are much more robust, long-lasting, and natural-looking. 

Dental crowns are used to rebuild teeth that have significant damage to their bite surface. Ceramic materials like zirconia, porcelain, or PFM are effective for tooth crowns because they are easy for a dentist to mill into the shape of your tooth. 

Zirconia is more durable and thinner than other ceramics used in dentistry. It is three times as strong as porcelain, making it extremely chip and crack resistant.

Why Choose Zirconia Crowns?

Many dentists prefer zirconia crowns because of the material’s superior strength and durability for patients with bruxism. The top three reasons zirconia is becoming the preferred choice for dental crowns are its sturdiness, aesthetics, and biocompatibility.

Strong and Durable

Dental crowns take a significant amount of wear and tear, especially crowns on the back teeth. Zirconia is solid and durable enough to withstand three times as much bite pressure as a porcelain crown. Since zirconia is more durable, fabricators can make crowns that fit more naturally to your teeth. 

Aesthetically Natural

Zirconia is white and translucent, providing the ideal foundation to match your teeth’s color and natural aesthetic. Porcelain crowns are often fused to metal, which becomes apparent over time as your gums recede. Zirconia crowns are uniform in color, so your smile still looks natural throughout the years.

Highly Biocompatible

Thanks to its biocompatibility, zirconia has been utilized for hip, joint, and knee replacements since the 1960s. Zirconia demonstrates strong compatibility with human biology, meaning it seamlessly integrates with your body and is highly unlikely to cause any inflammation or immunological responses.

Appointment #1: Preparation, Impressions, and Temporary Crown 

The first appointment consists of removing damaged tissue and shaping the tooth to fit the eventual crown. Then, your dentist will make an impression of your mouth to get a perfect match. They place a temporary crown on your tooth, and the imprint goes to the lab to fabricate your final crown.

Dental Crown Fabrication

At the lab, technicians use 3-D modeling technology to create an exact match of your tooth from a solid disk of zirconia. Once the crowns are milled, a technician carefully colors the zirconia to match your tooth’s natural coloration and polishes them to a shine before sending the final crowns back to your dentist.

Appointment #2: Final Crown Placement

In your second appointment, your dentist removes the temporary and prepares the area around the tooth for your final crown. Dental cement is used to create a strong bond between the zirconia and your natural tooth. Once a perfect fit is confirmed, you can return to life with a fully functional set of teeth.

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