Zirconia Crowns: The Perfect Fusion of Strength and Aesthetics

Dental crowns have been around for many years now, almost a century, and they are one of the most effective solutions for most kinds of dental issues. Mankind has been mitigating dental issues for a long time using various techniques now such as dental filling, dental crowns, dental bridges and in the worst case scenario, dental extraction. Based on the specific issue that the patient is suffering from, the dentist needs to take a call on what kind of treatment or dental solution is to be applied.

There are many applications of the various dental solutions. For example: dental fillings are used for non-extensive issues that include small cavities or smaller fractures that do not affect the total integrity of the tooth to a large extent. Dental fillings are done either with metal fillings or new age biocompatible materials present today.

Dental bridges are used as tooth caps that sit on top of multiple teeth which require care and support. Most bridges are done for patients who have extensive teeth damage on multiple adjacent teeth. Bridges help in supporting tooth structure which may not be achieved by placing crowns or caps on the teeth.

Dental crowns are the latest, most versatile dental solution that help patients have a comfortable, reliable, long lasting post-restoration solution for tooth issues such as root canal, fractures, discolourations, chipping, malformed or other dental issues that may prevail which require sawing down of the original tooth to make provision to fit ‘crown’ that helps in restoring the functions of the tooth. Some examples of popular dental crowns are Stainless steel crowns, Zirconia crowns, All Ceramic crowns, PFM or porcelain fused to metal crowns etc.

Types of Dental Crowns

There are many different types of crowns in the market and some of the most popular ones are listed below:

  1. Metal Crowns

Metal crowns are the most versatile type of crowns as they can be used by most people and for all kinds of restorations. The only issue with them is their jarring metal colour because of which, many people avoid using them. But they have multiple positives when you weigh them against their negatives such as: Strength, durability, ease of restoration, cost-effectiveness (in case of stainless steel crown), ease of making and adjusting the crown etc.

Another con of metal crown is the significant level of metal used such as nickel, chromium etc which may not suit all kinds of patients. Those who have metal allergies must stay away from these crowns.

  1. Resin Composite Crowns

Resin composite crowns are more generally used as temporary crowns as they do not have high thresholds for strength or durability. But they can be used as temporary crowns until your primary crown is prepared. Thanks to its translucent appeal, it can be used aesthetically for anterior restorations especially in children, where the need for hgh threshold of strength and durability is less.

Resin composite crowns can be shade matched and are also easy to maintain. They can be easily adjusted and crimped therefore making it a good option for those who want a quick solution.

  1. Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns

One of the most popular types of crowns is the PFM or the Porcelain Fused to Metal crowns. It was one of the highest selling crowns in the market (but only until new varieties of all ceramic and modern types of crowns came along). Today, there is less demand for PFM crowns because there are many different kinds of crowns available in the market but even then, PFM crowns offer a great value by combining the strength of metal crowns in their core and a porcelain exterior for the aesthetic appeal.

PFM crowns are extensively used for posterior restorations especially in the premolar and molar regions as the metal core has a high threshold for strength and durability. Although they are strong, they are prone to chipping and fractures.

  1. All Ceramic Crowns

All ceramic crowns are extremely popular today, given the need for aesthetic options for all kinds of patients, even young kids. Today, everyone wants aesthetically pleasing options and therefore, ceramic crowns have become high in demand. They have medium to good tolerance for heavy bite force and are also extremely good looking with plenty of options to provide exact shade match to the patients enamel.

Because of these features, they are excellent options for anterior tooth restorations. Today, many different kinds of ceramic crowns are present and perhaps Zirconia ceramic crowns are the most popular of the lot.

  1. Zirconia Dental Crowns

Zirconia crowns are the newest crowns that have been added to the list of successful and popular crowns in the market. These crowns are extremely versatile and can be used for both posterior and anterior restorations thanks to its amazing features including high strength, long durability, teeth like appearance, quick restoration times and with need for minimal adjustments thanks to CAD/CAM designing that is used to create these crowns.

Zirconia tooth crowns are not only popular amongst adults but are also available for kids these days, thanks to its high demand and pleasing aesthetics. We will discuss more about Zirconia crowns in the upcoming section.

Zirconia Crown Features

There are so many things that make Zirconia crowns the ‘perfect fusion of strength and aesthetics’. Simply put, Zirconia crowns are extremely good looking and have a great ability to withstand any level of bite force. This makes them extremely durable and can be reliably placed in for posterior restorations. Another fun fact about these crowns is that they are biocompatible - which means that their constituents are suitable for all kinds of patients and cause no allergies or unforeseen issues when in the patients’ mouth.

The cost of zirconia dental crowns are slightly higher than all ceramic crowns and other similar crowns in the market. Zirconia crown price is determined by the material used, the type of crown, any additional customisation such as glazing or shade matching etc. Zirconia crown cost also depends on the size, shape and level of adjustments that need to be made for the specific requirement of the patient. Zirconia crowns cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars per tooth restoration based on these factors.

Here are some of the features of Zirconia crowns and why they are deemed as the perfect fusion of strength and aesthetics in the dental world:

  1. Strength

One of the best features of zirconia crowns is the high level of bite force threshold thanks to the extreme core strength found in this material. Zirconia crowns are made from Zirconia oxide, an element that is known to have extremely good strength and is used in bone replacement surgeries in humans. Because of this attribute, they are conveniently used as crowns for posterior restorations where much of the original tooth had to be removed and there is a need for a strong and durable dental crown material that can support the tooth structure.

  1. Durability

In continuation to the point above, thanks to the high strength factor, these crowns are extremely durable and can last well over 10 years and more with good care and oral hygiene. They have a high tolerance for bite force, minimal chances of chipping or fracture and support healthy bone and gum structure with minimal chances of infection. This makes zirconia dental crowns one of the best durable crown materials in the market today.

  1. Biocompatibility

Another great fact that makes these crowns so popular is the fact that they are biocompatible - which means that their physical makeup is compatible with the human body and it causes no allergies, inflammation or other reactions in the body when it is present in the patient's mouth even for long durations. Metal crowns for example, are not biocompatible as metal is recognised as a foreign object and sometimes is rejected by the immune system of the body. Many people are allergic to certain constituents of metal such as nickel or chromium and therefore cannot use Metal based or PFM crowns. For such patients and for those who do not want to expose themselves to unnecessary metals in the body, zirconia tooth crowns are the best option in the market.

  1. Made to measure

Zirconia crowns are made from a slab of zirconia oxide, which is then carved to make crowns using specialised CAD/CAM technology. This technology creates a digital imprint of the size and shape of the tooth and the mould that is used to measure the cavity, and then creates an exact replica on the slab of zirconia to create crowns for the patient. Since all the measurements are computerised, the error margin is extremely small and therefore, patients can easily get their restorations done fast and accurately. The chair side adjustment time is very low and the turnaround time for the dental lab and the patient from the time of restoration to fitment is also considerably reduced.

  1. Aesthetically pleasing

The white, almost translucent colour of zirconia crowns are highly preferred for posterior crowns so that patients can completely cover up the use of a dental crown in the mouth. Even for anterior restorations, these crowns can be used well but unlike human teeth, these crowns are whiter and may look different from the rest of the teeth. Thanks to new innovations such as glazing and shade matching techniques, patients can now create customised enamel colour that lets the crown have the same shade of the rest of the teeth, therefore creating one of the best aesthetically pleasing crowns in the market.

These are some of the best features of zirconia crowns and why they are referred to as the ‘perfect fusion of strength and aesthetics’.