Zirconia Crowns are the Future

Dental crowns and bridges have come a long way in the last few years.  Zirconia is a synthetic glass that has been used quite a bit for the last 15 years in fabricating dental restorations.  Let’s look at some of the features of solid Zirconia crowns and bridges.

Zirconia Crowns are Hard

Dental crowns made from Zirconia are very durable and hard, more so than the Hybrid and Porcelain materials dentists used before.  They are even harder than some of the gold material dentists used in the past.  The material became popular as Cubic Zirconia, which are sold as very realistic fake diamonds.  They are considered realistic because Zirconia shares many of the properties of diamonds, including harness.  Because of this, Zirconia can be used reliably to restore implants.

These Crowns look Natural

All Zirconai Dental CrownsZirconia is a glass that can be stained the various shades that dentists use to match the various colors of natural teeth.  What is unique is that Zirconia can match the translucency of natural teeth as well, which is the property of letting light pass through.  This makes the restorations very tooth-like and cosmetic.

Zirconia Restoration have no Metal Content

This is particularly important to those who have a hyper-sensitivity or allergy to metals.  For instance, about 10% of the population is sensitive to nickle, which is a common additive to most dental restorations made of metal.

Zirconia Dental Restorations are Milled, not Cast or Baked

All other previous dental crowns were either cast or baked.  Gold crowns were cast and experienced 3-6% shrinkage as they cooled down.  To overcome this, labs would approximate the shrinkage and fabricate the crowns 3-6% bigger than needed; it was always a guess.  Porcelains are baked.  Impurities and voids can not always be avoided in this process and can lead to the failure of the material.  Porcelain-baked-to-metal, called PBMs, were, by far and away, the most common type of crown and required both casting and baking.

Zirconia restorations are milled by a laser from a solid block of the material.  The fit is precise and the process does not introduce the possibility of structural contamination.