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What is a Zirconia Crown?

Upper teeth made of zirconia crowns on a black background

Zirconia crowns are one type of crown a dentist may use to make a cap of patient’s tooth. Like any other dental crown, they have many advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your specific dental needs, zirconia crowns may be the ideal choice.

Zirconia crowns are derived from a metal that is a member of the titanium family and is found in many other products including dinnerware and electrical fixtures. It is ideal for crowns because it is both durable and easy to manufacture. Zirconia arrives to dental offices as a block, then it is shaped by a computerized cutting machine (CAD CAM) into the shape of a tooth. Once the crown has been shaped, it can then be cemented into the patient’s mouth. This entire process can be completed in one appointment, making zirconia crowns a quick alternative to traditional porcelain crowns.

There are many advantages to zirconia crowns. For starters, zirconia crowns are the strongest type of crown available, and they do not chip like porcelain can. Because of their durability, and resistance to chips and cracks, they also have the ability to last longer than porcelain does. They are also biocompatible, meaning that the body will not reject zirconia and the risk of infections, complications, pain, discomfort, or allergic reactions is dramatically decreased.

In addition, zirconia crowns have many aesthetic benefits as well. For one, they bond well with your tooth resulting in less damage to your existing teeth. Since zirconia is naturally white, the color also blends well with you existing teeth, while also helping to brighten your smile. Zirconia is also translucent, which adds dimension to the color and aids it in looking more natural.  They are also able to be easily modified, shaped, and colored, meaning that the final result is a more natural-looking crown. Finally, with zirconia crowns, no metal is needed. This means that the crown will look more natural, while also not eroding over time like metal-based crowns. Overall, the aesthetic benefits offer one of the greatest benefits of zirconia.

However, there can be some disadvantages to zirconia crowns, although these are minimal compared to the number of benefits they offer. Some individuals worry about the toughness of the material causing friction or excess wear on the tooth root or surrounding teeth. Regularly visiting the dentist and watching for signs of wear can easily prevent this problem. The only other main disadvantage to zirconia crowns is that some people are not satisfied with the color, however new advancements have already begun to remedy this issue.

Another possible disadvantage is the cost of zirconia crowns. Unfortunately, most dental reconstructive treatments tend to be costly and zirconia crowns are no exception to this rule. Generally speaking, zirconia crowns are the most expensive crown available. However, being that it is also the most durable, you will definitely get your money’s worth. Despite being the most expensive crown, zirconia crowns are generally less expensive than anything requiring porcelain.

Interested in learning more about zirconia crowns? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gonzalez at Dental American Group today!

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