What are Zirconia Crowns?
A dental crown is a cap to cover and protect a damaged tooth. It can be made from several varied materials, which includes porcelain, ceramic, zirconia, metal, composite, or a combination of materials. If you have a tooth that is showing wearing, chipped, or cracked, your dentist will recommend capping it with a dental crown. This crown will help maintain the size, shape, strength, and appearance of the damaged tooth and will be made from one of various materials, a popular choice being zirconia. When choosing the material that will be best for your crown, your dentist will want to consider multiple factors like the visibility of the tooth, the strength, the cost, and how it looks.
The History of Dental Crowns
According to the ADA, American Dental Association, dental crowns have been around since before 200 AD. Gold alloys and other metals had been popular choices throughout history. These metals are durable enough to withstand the pressures of biting and chewing, but do not look like a natural tooth. For most patients today the closest thing to matching a real tooth is their first choice. The dental industry refined the use of porcelain to match the color of the natural teeth, but a drawback of porcelain is that it is more fragile than the metal options. Sometimes it can crack, chip, or break. Zirconia, however, is five times stronger, more durable, and looks like a natural tooth.
The Reasons for Needing a Dental Crown
If you have a large cavity that is too big for a conventional filling, it might be time for a dental crown.
You may also need a crown if your tooth is:
- Cracked, chipped, broken, or fractured.
- Severely worn down.
- Weakened from decay, disease, or a root canal.
- The last step of a dental implant procedure.
Crowns are usually recommended after a root canal because the tooth is more fragile and needs the protection. You could be a candidate for a dental crown if you are missing a tooth, and your dentist recommends a dental bridge or a dental implant.
The Benefits of a Zirconia Crown
Zirconia is a white solid ceramic glaze derived from a crystalized mineral and combines the strength of metal with the natural appearance of porcelain.
Some of the benefits and advantages of zirconium crowns are:
- Zirconia is biocompatible and will not cause any adverse reactions in your body.
- They are extremely durable.
- They resemble the color and shade of your natural teeth.
- They can be created in the dental office and need less preparation, so you can be fitted for your crown quicker.
- Zirconia can be layered with porcelain for an even more natural appearance.
- The crown can be bonded or cemented to the tooth, giving your dentist more options.
Considerations When Choosing Zirconia for Your Dental Crown
Several factors are important when considering a zirconia crown, including:
- The location of the tooth and the visibility in your smile.
- The biting and chewing pressures and strength, front versus rear.
- Overall durability and life expectancy.
- The final cost.
A natural appearance that contributes to your healthy smile may also be a priority for you. Your dentist will discuss your options and help you determine if a zirconia crown best meets your needs.