What are E.MAX and Zirconia Crowns?

Dental Crowns are the solutions to all modern day dentistry issues. There are many benefits to having a dental crown that is fit in place of a damaged tooth. A dental crown can protect the weak original tooth after restoration by a dentist to correct issues such as:

  • Fractured tooth
  • Misshapen Tooth
  • Decayed Tooth
  • Chipped Tooth etc
  • Holding down a bridge
  • Covering up an implant
  • Covers a discoloured tooth

When a patient has any of the above stated issues with their teeth, it is best to consult a dentist immediately. A dentist can help in diagnosing the issue and providing the right treatment and care for the tooth. In most cases, dental crown is the recommended solution for patients who need some kind of a replacement tooth for their original, damaged tooth. By placing a dental crown on top of the reduced, restored tooth, the dentist is able to protect the original tooth from further damage and to provide an aesthetic and functional solution for the lack of a proper tooth.

Dental Crowns are available in a range of dental materials such as Metals, Porcelain, Ceramic and a combination of Porcelain and Metal (PFM Crowns). Metal, PFM and Porcelain crowns have been around for a long time in dentistry. Ceramic crowns are a latest addition to the dental crown material that helps in solving both the issue of aesthetics and functionality. Ceramic crowns come in many forms and types, each one having a characteristic difference from the other. They are derived from different elements and therefore have different trading names in the dental sciences such as Zirconia Crowns (Both monolithic and Solid), E.MAX or Lithium Disilicate Crowns, Reinforced Porcelain crowns etc.

Dental crowns and the crown material is chosen based on many factors such as:
  • The Restoration condition of the tooth
  • Occlusal Reduction
  • Occlusal load
  • Bite force
  • Anterior or posterior position
  • Budget for new crown
  • Aesthetical choices of the patient

Ceramic Crowns v/s Metal and Porcelain Fused Metal Crowns

Ceramic crowns such as Zirconia tooth crown and Emax are made from different elements that look like ceramic making them a popular choice amongst those who want aesthetic restorations for their teeth. Most people who have issues with their anterior teeth need something that looks aesthetically pleasing and therefore makes up for the loss of the original tooth. Ceramic crowns such as Zirconia dental crowns and Lithium Disilicate crowns trumps all other crowns because of their amazing features including

  • Natural teeth-like Appearance
  • Has no metal in it - no allergies
  • Biocompatible ingredients
  • Has good durability

Metal Crowns and Porcelain fused with metal crowns have been around for a long time and they both have their own pros. Metal crowns are deemed to be the number 1 when it comes to durability and strength. They require almost no maintenance and last for well over 12-15 years. They have been proven to have the best strength and durability against all other restorations. Based on the metal chosen, the cost may be high or low for example - nickel and steel can be cheaper whereas gold or palladium can be expensive. Nevertheless, the only con for metal restorations is their apparent colour which many patients are now shying away from. Most people prefer teeth-like restorations not only for anterior teeth but also for posterior teeth. This led to the decline in the usage of metal crowns in the market.

Porcelain Fused to Metal crowns are more preferable than metal crowns in terms of aesthetics but there are some pros and cons to this restoration as well. Porcelain Fused to metal has a porcelain exterior with a metal lined interior that provides the support and strength needed for a crown. The porcelain exterior provides the needed aesthetics. But most crowns have a metal lining which can be visible and therefore the use of PFM crowns is largely restricted to posterior teeth. The porcelain exterior is also prone to chipping due to the sturdier inner core causing disproportionate load balancing.

This is where Ceramic crowns such as E.MAX and Zirconia Ceramic crowns shine. They are natural looking with small differences between each other making them perfect modern day tools to deal with all kinds of dental flaws.

Zirconia Crowns - Pros and Cons

Zirconia Dental Crowns are very popular these days as the most effective type of restorations that can be made from Ceramic based materials. Zirconia crowns are made from Zirconium DIoxide blocks that can be carved into dental crowns using special machinery. Zirconia crowns are ceramic crowns and they have a thick exterior which seems opaque. This is the only known flaw of Zirconia as it may seem unnatural when compared with E.Max and other similar restorations.

Zirconia crowns cost almost similar to E.MAX crowns and maybe slightly more than Metal or PFM crowns. A Zirconia crowns cost is decided by the amount of details that has gone into the making of the crown. Based on the restoration type, the zirconia crown price is quoted by the dental technician. This is why the cost of Zirconia dental crown can vary from one place to another. Zirconia crowns can be prepared in a single day with the right facility and that is why many dental clinics are able to provide same day dental procedures. The making of Zirconia tooth crowns used Zirconium Dioxide blocks that are carved using CAD/CAM instructions from a software attached to a milling machine.

Zirconia Ceramic crowns are preferred over most kinds of crowns based on a variety of reasons:


    Zirconia Dental crowns are the sturdiest crowns and have excellent strength when it comes to other ceramic and porcelain based restorations. They are the strongest known material to exist and this offers both as advantage and disadvantage to zirconia crown usage


      Zirconia tooth crowns are very durable based on their strength and sturdity but since these kinds of restorations are new in the market, there are less details on its average durability.


        Aesthetically speaking, they are one of the best options in the dental material market as they have a solid white texture that can look very much teeth-like. But this characteristic is being challenged against the more natural looking teeth features that have layered translucence to it making it more like-like. This is one of the many reasons why researchers and dental practitioners are looking at less solid or opaque characteristics and more translucent finish that has natural layers to it.


          Zirconia dental crowns have no metal in them making them extremely useful for those patients who want to avoid metals in their restorations or those who have metal allergies. They are made from excellent biocompatible materials making them very easy to adapt to by the patients.

          Same Day Restorations

            Zirconia ceramic crowns are easy to create using high tech machines using CAD/CAM instructions which make it possible for high end dental offices to make dental crowns within a day and be able to provide same day restorations to patients.

            EMAX v/s Zirconia Crowns

            E.MAX is a type of all-Ceramic crown that is usually referred to as Lithium Disilicate -  a material most known for its strength, durability and natural teeth like finish. E.MAX crowns are becoming popular these days as they have a shade difference which is translucent and therefore much like natural teeth. The overall material characteristic is to allow more light to pass through unlike Zirconia which makes it perfect for those who want anterior restorations that look very natural.

            E.MAX does not need any artificial colour matching or staining therefore, costs less than Zirconia crowns. But there are some criterions and situations where Zirconia would be a better choice for patients such as highly discoloured teeth within which might make the restoration look awkward.

            E.MAX is layered porcelain material that has provided the ability to look natural because of its translucent nature. E.MAX is preferred by many patients these days but there are cons to having E.MAX restorations as they are less durable than Zirconia. Translucent Zirconia as they are referred to is known to be much stronger than E.Max anyday. The advantage of natural aesthetics can now be achieved in Zirconia crowns itself as they are now able to stain and glaze just like E.MAX with various techniques which make them look just like natural teeth. Layered Zirconia and Translucent Zirconia are some of the examples for this process.

            In conclusion, one can say that both Emax and zirconia crowns are modern solutions to dental problems and depend from patient to patient as the situation may call for Emax or Zirconia accordingly.