What Are Zirconia Crowns

What are Zirconia Crowns


A dental crown is a tooth-colored dental restoration that covers the entire visible structure of a tooth. They are used to restore a tooth that has extensive decay or has fractured. Crowns are also used to restore teeth that have had a root canal treatment to prevent the tooth from eventually breaking. After a root canal, the tooth can become brittle over time, making it more susceptible to fracture. A dental crown can often save a tooth that might otherwise need to be extracted.

There are a number of materials used to fabricate a dental crown including gold and base metals, porcelain, ceramic, or zirconia.


What are zirconia crowns?

Zirconia is a metal oxide derived from zirconium, which is a metal in the titanium family. Even though zirconia is derived from metal, even patients with metal allergies are able to receive zirconia crowns without any adverse reactions. It is a highly biocompatible material, which means that it works well with our body!


Zirconia crowns are milled from a solid block of zirconia to match the size and shape of the tooth upon which it is placed. It is also tinted to match the shade of the rest of your teeth, just like porcelain and ceramic! Zirconia crowns are cemented in place and are considered a permanent restoration.


Care and Maintenance

Proper oral hygiene is the key to making any dental restoration last, no matter what type of material it is fabricated from. A healthy oral care routine includes brushing at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing at least once a day. Antimicrobial mouthwash is another step that can be beneficial in removing bacteria and biofilm (plaque!) build-up.


Are there disadvantages to zirconia crowns?

There are a couple of disadvantages to zirconia crowns, one being opacity. Zirconia is a much more opaque material than other options and is not ideal for anterior teeth. Our teeth are a little translucent on the cusp so, zirconia is best for treating back teeth.


Another drawback to zirconia crowns is the durability. Because zirconia is such a strong material, your dentist may have trouble if you ever need a bite adjustment that will affect your crown. When your dentist performs a bite adjustment, they take a very small amount of tooth structure off of the occlusal surface, which can be difficult if a zirconia crown needs to be adjusted.


If your dentist diagnoses a cavity or fracture, it is important to have it fixed as soon as possible. A simple filling can quickly turn into a crown or even a root canal and crown when left untreated. If you have a tooth that has fractured or has severe decay, a zirconia dental crown may be a great option for you. Your dentist will discuss your options and help you determine which material will be the best for you!


Zirconia vs Porcelain Crowns