Dental crowns are made to rebuild the shape and the strength of a damaged tooth. You do have some options when it comes to crowns, and these options involve materials. While most people are familiar with steel, gold, and porcelain, there is another option that is available to you. This material is called zirconia. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of this material.
It Is A Metal
Many people think of zirconia as a crystalline substance, like the cubic zirconia that is used to create jewelry like rings. However, the zirconia used to create dental crowns is actually a type of metal. This means that zirconia has many of the same benefits as metals like titanium or steel, while retaining the appearance of a natural tooth much like porcelain.
If you have spoken to your dentist about crowns, then you know that a metal one will remain just slightly pliable. While this means that the metal will wear down slowly over time, the material does not place a great deal of stress on the nearby teeth. This can be beneficial in cases where the molars require crowns and you intend on grinding food with your crown securely in place.
While metal crowns are pliable, they are strong. Metals are strong even when they are made into thin formations. This means that less of the natural tooth needs to be ground down to prepare your tooth for the zirconia crown. This is advantageous if your natural tooth is brittle. Also, if the crown needs to be replaced at some point, then there is more natural tooth left behind so a new crown can be created.
However, you should understand that zirconia will not appear translucent like porcelain. As a metal, it will reflect light. If this is a concern of yours, then you can ask your dentist about working with a restoration specialist or a ceramic professional who can add a layer of ceramic over the zirconia. These professional can even add artificial staining to make the crown appear as natural as possible. While the layering may increase your costs a bit, the cost will likely still be less than if you choose a full porcelain or ceramic crown.
It Can Be Easily Formed
Dental ceramics require a special process where the material is layered until a customized tooth covering is created. When it comes to metal crowns, steel and gold are typically poured into a mold and left to cool. However, zirconia crowns are created in a completely different way. Zirconia is shipped to dental laboratories in small blocks. These blocks are milled down to create the crown. In other words, the crown is developed by taking material away from the block instead of building it up, like with traditional types of materials.
When zirconia crowns are created, a completely automated process can be utilized during a single-stage process. This means that the crown can be created quickly and easily with computerized equipment. Both metal and porcelain crowns require multiple steps. The more steps that are involved, the greater the likelihood of a mistake being made, in addition to the added time.
Not only is the crown creation process quicker and easier when crowns are made from zirconia, but the crown will be more exact and precise in size once it is completed. Fittings can then occur with few, if any, adjustments. If you have very little time, then this can be a good option.
If you need a dental crown, then speak with your dentist about zirconia and whether or not it is a good option for your oral care needs.