What are Zirconia Crowns?
When a patient has a tooth which is showing signs of wear, cracked, or chipped, the dentist may suggest using a dental crown to cap it. A crown aids in maintaining the natural tooth’s size, strength, shape, and appearance. The crown will be made from different materials which may include zirconia. In selecting the material for the crown there are many factors to consider such as the location of the tooth, cost, durability, and appearance. This article will review benefits, disadvantages and frequently asked questions regarding zirconia crowns.
Dentists started using porcelain for crowns as it is able to more closely match the color of the natural teeth. Unfortunately, porcelain is less durable than gold and other types of metal materials. It is possible for zirconia to chip, crack, and even break over time. Zirconia has a similar aesthetic to the natural teeth and is a strong, durable material.
Zirconia Crown Benefits
Zirconia is a white solid ceramic glaze material. It is a newer material which uniquely combines the strength of metal and the natural tooth-like appearance of porcelain. Modern dentistry continues to change and develop zirconia crowns to enhance their performance.
The key benefits of zirconium crowns include the following:
- Similar in color to natural teeth
- Dentist is able to shape the crown which allows them to fit and place the crown in a single appointment
- Zirconia and porcelain can be layered to enhance the appearance
- Crowns are bonded or cemented to the tooth which give the dentist flexibility with treatment options
- Biocompatible material which does not cause adverse reactions in the body
Zirconia Crown Disadvantages
As with most things, there are also some disadvantages related to zirconia crowns. While the material closely resembles the natural teeth better than gold and other types of metals, it is also more opaque. In cases where a tooth in the front of the mouth needs to be replaced, zirconia may not be an ideal solution as it can be differ from the natural teeth. The strength of zirconia is one of the key benefits, however, in some cases it is too strong. For example, if the crown needs to be adjusted to even out the bite or if it needs to be filed down, the strength of the material can create some challenges.
Regardless of the material selected to use for a crown, it is critical to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing the teeth at least twice each day and flossing daily in addition to consuming a well-balanced diet. Patients should continue regular visits to the dentist for an exam and professional cleaning. This also allows the dentist to ensure the crown remains healthy and without any issues.
Follow up with your dentist to determine if you may be a good candidate for a zirconia crown to treat a damaged tooth. The dentist will evaluate your individual case such the location of the damaged tooth, the cost for treatment, and desired outcome to help determine which material will best meet your needs.