It’s always important to make sure you have the most information when talking about any type oftooth restorations or surgery that you might have to undergo—especially if it has to do with your teeth or mouth. Having crowns implanted is a little painful and uncomfortable but can help with your overall oral health in the long run. Many people actually don’t know a lot about dental crowns, including the materials that they are madeof.
Zirconia is a material that is used for a dental crown or dental implant —and may just be the most popular material used for dental restoration as it still looks like natural teeth. But what actually is zirconia? What type of material is it? Are there any advantages and disadvantages to this material? Is it better or worse than porcelain? It’s always good to know all about the type of crown you may be fitted with—and this article is poised to help you understand zirconia through and through.
What is a zirconia crown?
First, let’s talk about crowns. Crowns, also called caps, have been used for tooth restorations a very long time and are made to help protect damaged ordecaying teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association says caps have been used to help decaying teeth since before 200 AD! Can you imagine? These crowns help make sure that the decaying teeth become strong again, resulting in a harmonious dental functioning.
Zirconia is a metal that is a member of the titanium family. It’s mined around the world and incredibly common—you can find it in dinnerware and even electrical fixtures! Because of this titanium connection, zirconia is incredibly strong and durable, which is always two bonuses to have when talking about dental crowns.
The only thing that separates a zirconia crown from other crowns(say, porcelain) is just the material. This material is incredibly durable, but the coloring and overall appearance are different from your regular porcelain ones. This material has become quite the popular alternative to porcelain crowns for a number of reasons, the main one being the speedy timeframe it takes to actually make and fit the cap for a patient. The whole process of creating a custom crown for a patient and then adjusting it in the patient’s mouth can all be donewith one dentist appointment, which is something a porcelain crown cannot achieve.
For those that do decide to get zirconia crowns (instead of the other material crowns), it is always important to make sure that keeping the cap clean and healthy is mandatory. To make sure you care for your caps and crowns, brush your teeth and floss daily and habitually like you usually do. Keep up your oral hygiene as best as possible to make sure that your teeth, crowns, and caps are all healthy.
Zirconia is becoming much more common and may even be the standard crown for most dental offices. Because of this, this material isn’t more expensive than other caps, though each dental office is different and has different ranges of prices.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of zirconia crowns?
Both advantages and disadvantages come with using zirconia crowns instead of othercaps. For the most part, there are a lot of dental offices that may charge a lesser amount (compared to porcelain crowns), because they would not have to get the material from outside of the dental lab. Because the material is readily available, this also means that you won’t have to wait or set up another appointment for this crown, which can happen with other caps made from different material. If you’re looking to get all your work done in one appointment, zirconia crowns provide you with that speedy timeframe.
Zirconia crowns are also incredibly durable, which is always a plus. Because of this strength, the crown fitting of a zirconia crown used to be a little bit longer than of a porcelain crown. However, with new milling machines and advancement in technology, this is no longer an issue!
While some may not like the appearance of zirconia, the coloring can actually be colored to match the existing color of a patient’s teeth. While this isn’t as great as the translucent properties that porcelain crowns provide, it’s still a muchbetter alternative than having a gold crown, which can really stand out. For those that are worried about the overall appearance, it can even be layered with porcelain, which keeps both the attractive appearance of porcelain and the durability of zirconia.Zirconia is also able to either be bonded or cemented, which can help give your dentist more options. It’s always nice to have a lot of different options—and zirconia helps with that.
However, there are some disadvantages with zirconia crowns that should be discussed. For the most part, the main drawback has to do with the overall look of zirconia crowns. Porcelain crowns, being the crowd favorite, are translucent. Zirconia is not as translucent as porcelain and some patients do not like the appearance quite as much. However, there are currently advancements being worked on and made to help with the overall coloring and appearance of zirconiaso this may not even be an issue in the near future. For those whoareworried about the appearance, zirconia can be layered with porcelain, which may be the best option for those that are looking for that porcelain look, yet with the strength and durability of zirconia.
As you can see, zirconia crowns have some real advantages. This material, which is a member of the titanium family, is strong, durable, and long-lasting. While the coloring may not be a favorite among some patients, the ability to make sure that the colors match the color of a patient’s teeth is a much better option than having a gold cap. Also, if aesthetic and appearance are very important, you can always layer the zirconia with porcelain for the best look—and retain the best durability! Zirconia crowns are a favorite among dentists and patients for a reason. The advantages speak for themselves.