What is a zirconia crown?
A zirconia crown is a type of dental treatment that is carried out to protect the damaged tooth or improve the look of the tooth. It is basically a covering that is made of zirconium oxide and is applied to the surface of a tooth.
Zirconia crowns are highly popular with patients that don’t want a tooth replacement but also don’t have very healthy teeth. Zirconia crowns are capable of protecting the tooth for long years before losing their functionality, and they can also provide a good appearance while doing so.
Is a zirconia crown better than porcelain?
Zirconia crowns have a number of advantages over porcelain crowns in some aspects, but they also have a few disadvantages too. Below, we will list the main advantages of a zirconia crown over a porcelain crown.
- Zirconia crowns are a lot stronger than porcelain crowns, which enables them to last longer. The strength of zirconia crowns also makes it possible for patients that have them eat and drink whatever they want without any concerns.
- Zirconia crowns are also more durable when compared to porcelain crowns. They last a lot longer, which almost zeroes out its disadvantage of being more costly.
- Zirconium oxide, which is the main material of zirconia crowns, is a biocompatible material, which means the body does not produce any reaction or immunological response.
- Unlike most porcelain crowns, zirconia crowns can be made and applied in the dental clinic, without having the need of sending the measurements to the lab and waiting for the molding of the crown for several days, or even weeks. Zirconia crowns can be applied in one in-office appointment.
In addition to these advantages over porcelain crowns, there are also several downsides, and these downsides may be a determinant in which crown type you will choose. The most significant disadvantages of zirconia crowns are:
- Zirconia crowns are harder to match the natural tooth color of the patient, unlike porcelain crowns, which can be adjusted to match the patient’s natural tooth color perfectly.
- Zirconia crowns may also pose a potential danger to the surrounding teeth since they are made of very hard material. However, the danger isn’t very high, and it can be avoided simply by choosing a good dentist and taking care of your teeth properly.
If you want to have the high protection and durability of a zirconia crown, and the better appearance of a porcelain crown, you may also prefer a combination of these two crowns. The procedure works almost the same: the zirconia crown is applied first, and then the porcelain crown is placed on top of the zirconia crown. However, this procedure might also have some disadvantages, such as the possibility of damaging the surrounding teeth, since the thickness of the crown layer is almost two times more than both types of dental crowns.
How long do zirconia crowns last?
Zirconia crowns can last five to ten years more than porcelain crowns on average, under certain conditions. Porcelain crowns usually last from 6 to 12-14 years. On the other hand, the lifespan of zirconia crowns may depend on a variety of factors, such as your oral care routine, and going on regular check-ups. Zirconia crowns last anywhere from 6-8 years to over 20 years, and the average lifespan of zirconia crowns is around 12 to 14 years.
Can a zirconia crown break?
The short answer is yes, a zirconia crown can break, just like other types of dental crowns. However, it is not very common, and the conditions under which zirconia crowns fracture are very specific.
There might be a variety of reasons behind the fracture of a zirconia crown. The most common reason is poor or faulty design or application, which is caused by the inexperience or disregarding behavior of the dentist that has carried out the procedure.
Another common reason for zirconia crown damage or fracture is the poor quality or wrong choice of material. The crown might function poorly, create a displeasing appearance, and might even break/fracture due to this reason.
For these reasons, it is very important to choose an experienced and talented dentist for your zirconia crown procedure, or you can experience various problems with your crown.
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