The world of dentistry is rapidly changing and is including new and varied methods to cater to the needs of people with dental aid requirements. New machines, new techniques, and new materials are being introduced every single year taking the field of dentistry one step ahead every time. Dentistry is a field of science that is well-rooted and essential as, without the privilege of eating and enjoying the food that one eats, our life may seem duller. Apart from just-food, good oral hygiene and a beautiful smile can boost self-confidence and make one feel attractive and smart. Several studies have suggested that those who had dental issues had low self-esteem and vice versa.
This is why maintaining a good set of teeth and good oral hygiene is essential to us as human beings to feel good about ourselves and to enjoy our regular lives. Dental interventions such as dental crowns, implants , and dental bridges have become the most common solution for all kinds of dental problems. Those who are suffering from misshapen teeth, tooth decay, deformed or crooked teeth, discolored teeth, etc. Dental crowns especially are the best solution for those who want to replace the natural tooth with a crown to cover up its flaws.
What are Dental Crowns?
Just like an actual crown, a dental crown sits on top of the original natural teeth, once it has been treated and rid of the cavity that plagued the tooth. This crown is made from various dental materials and performs the same function as that of a natural tooth. The crown is placed on top of the shaved-down natural tooth after being measured and prepared by a dental lab. The dentist contours the tooth and provides the perfect fit by adjusting the crown and cementing it into position using dental cement.
A dental crown helps patients to carry out all the natural roles of natural teeth such as chewing, biting, tearing of food, and for that perfect toothy smile. The crown is an important dental marvel that has helped millions of people in replacing their decayed or damaged natural teeth with artificial teeth.
Types of Dental Crown
Crowns are made from a variety of materials based on the timeline of the material that was initially used. Some of the most common types of dental crowns are :
- Metal Crowns
Metal crowns are made from all metals such as stainless steel, gold, and other precious metal alloys. They have incredible strength and are very malleable to make crowns of any size for the patient.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns
Porcelain fused to metal crowns are a combination of porcelain crown that has a metal lining within that helps provide the aesthetics of natural looking teeth with reinforced strength of metal
All Porcelain crowns are most popular for anterior crown options for those who are looking for aesthetic options with good strength and durability
Zirconia crowns are the modern version of the combination of the strength of metal crowns and the aesthetics of porcelain crowns but without compromising on strength or durability
Zirconia Crowns v/s Porcelain Crowns
Zirconia Crowns are made from Zirconium Oxide - a naturally occurring mineral that is obtained and manufactured to Zirconium Blocks and is used in dental labs to prepare Zirconia crowns. The best part about Zirconia crowns is the fact that it is a natural material that is very biocompatible - meaning that the crown is very stable and causes no allergies when in the patient's mouth. It is therefore one of the best choices for patients who are hypersensitive to metals.
Zirconia has a unique opaque nature that makes it look just like natural teeth. This opaqueness can be worked upon to suit the patient's other teeth and therefore made to look very much similar to the other teeth. Their soft finish and feel make them look just like natural teeth.
The finishing of zirconia crowns is so smooth that the crown can be easily contoured and adjusted to the patient's tooth size. It can be custom-built using CAD/CAM technology which makes the whole restoration process very accurate
The strength and durability of Zirconia crowns is exceptional and perhaps this is the reason why it is the most preferred crown of all. Zirconia is extremely strong and is very resistant to chipping, damage and other problems that may befall the tooth. It is also very low maintenance and can be easily cared for.
Porcelain crowns are made from Silica and traces of Alumina which are both elements that need to be checked with the patient in case they have allergies to it. SIlica gives the porcelain crown its glassy appearance and therefore the porcelain crown has a unique translucency to it. This translucency may be a good thing but does give the patient an unnatural appearance when noticed. Porcelain is much more natural than Porcelain fused to metal restorations but not as good as the Zirconia crowns’ appearance.
Another fact about porcelain is that it is not very strong or durable as the Zirconia Crowns. They are prone to chipping, damage or cracks if they are used to exert excessive force. Porcelain crowns are best suited for anterior restorations such as the front teeth as they need less strength. They are not capable of being used in the molars or premolars.
Porcelain crowns are not very durable either. They are aesthetically pleasing but do need some maintenance. They last about 5 years post which they might need to be replaced. Zirconia crowns are stronger and last longer when it comes to Porcelain crowns.
Porcelain crowns also have a higher adjustment period as they are tough to work with and contouring can be time-consuming because of the nature of the material. But just like Zirconia crowns they too appear pleasing once the restoration is complete, however less natural than Zirconia.
These are some of the differences between Zirconia and Porcelain, it is quite evident that Zirconia is the more suited and reliable dental crown for most situations.