Cosmetic dentistry is a successful field, because who doesn't want a beautiful smile? When patients require a cap of their tooth, zirconia crowns are one option a dentist may recommend. Read on to learn more about zirconia, how it compares to a porcelain crown, and the advantages and disadvantages. If you do opt for this type of crown, how do you care for it and what are the costs as opposed to other types of treatment?
What Is a Zirconia Crown?
Zirconia is a metal classified as a member of the titanium family and is mined around the world. It is found in dinnerware and electrical fixtures among other products. It's known for its durability, making it an ideal product to use in dental crowns, especially posterior crowns that require a lot of strength for chewing and grinding food, notes a study published by The Open Dentistry Journal.
The metal has become popular as a crown material, since it is supplied to dental offices in the form of a block, which is then milled by a computerized cutting machine (CAD CAM) into the shape of a tooth. Then, once it is fitted, it is cemented in the patient's mouth. Since that whole process can be accomplished in one dental appointment, it has become widely used by dentists, since patients can have a crown shaped and cemented in much less time than the traditional porcelain crown, which may take a few weeks to manufacture, and requires a cementation visit in addition to the initial visit.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
Many dental offices may charge less for a zirconia crown as opposed to a porcelain crown, since it does not have to be outsourced to an outside dental lab. Additionally, with today's hectic pace of living, many patients prefer the one appointment for its convenience, since it means less time out of work. The crowns can be easily adjusted by the dentist chairside on that day and cemented once the fit is perfect for the patient.
Zirconia as a material is not as translucent (allowing light) as porcelain crowns, so patients may not like the appearance of them, says Dental Economics. Advancements are being made to improve the color and look of zirconia crowns, so in the future, the appearance may be a non-issue. One of the best qualities of zirconia is its strength. The adjustment process on the day of the crown fitting in some instances can take a little longer that traditional porcelain crowns, but the sophistication of new milling machines streamline that process, according to Dentistry Today.
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Zirconia crowns can be a good option for many patients undergoing crown treatment, and great oral care habits can help ensure years of satisfaction and dental health for patients everywhere.
Author: Richard A Huot