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Zirconia Crowns

By Dr. Aastha Chandra

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WHAT IS A ZIRCONIA CROWN

This type of crown is made from Zirconia, which is a very strong, long lasting material compatible with the human body.  There is no fear about the body rejecting Zirconia or displaying an allergic reaction to it. Because of its strength and longer durability, it is preferred over porcelain fused to metal crowns. While porcelain crowns usually need replacement after a few years, Zirconia crowns have shown a 99 percent survival rate after five years. Like gold crowns, Zirconia crowns can last up to and over 20 years.

They may be fabricated from solid full-contour (Monolithic) Zirconia, high translucent Zirconia or layered Zirconia.

TYPES OF ZIRCONIA CROWNS:

1. Solid Zirconia, or “Monolithic Zirconia,” is opaque and has extremely high strength, which is why it’s generally recommended for posterior crowns which have to withstand forceful chewing and grinding. This material is particularly suitable for patients who may grind their teeth. Only minimal tooth reduction is required for this type of restoration, and there is low wear on opposing teeth. Solid Zirconia is also very effective for masking highly discoloured teeth.

2. Layered Zirconia, is more translucent and aesthetic, and hence suitable for anterior crowns and for posterior crowns where there is adequate clearance between the opposite tooth.

ADVANTAGES OF CHOOSING ZIRCONIA CROWNS:

1. Strength: Zirconia crowns last longer than other types of crowns.

2. Aesthetics: these crowns have an attractive translucent colour which blends in well with the other teeth. It is manufactured in a wide variety of shades, making it easy to accurately match the color of the patient’s natural teeth.

3. Conservative: Retain more of the existing tooth: Minimal preparation is required which means more of the original tooth is preserved. This is useful if the crown needs to be removed.

4. Biocompatible: Zirconia crowns are highly biocompatible, as the smooth surface helps to reduce plaque accumulation. Zirconia is suitable for patients with metal allergies or who would prefer to have metal-free restorations. Zirconia crowns are comfortable for patients, as they do not transmit hot and cold in the same way as conventional PFMs.

5. Customisation: Due to a wide variety of factors including chemical composition and processing requirements, there are many ways Zirconia can be manufactured to suit the needs of the patient. This customization minimizes the margin for error and ensures excellent fit for each individual.

6. Accuracy: Using computer-aided design and manufacturing processes provide patients with a precise fit, reducing the chair-side time required for adjusting and cementing these restorations.

Because Zirconia crowns and bridges possess excellent aesthetics and are virtually indestructible, Zirconia is becoming the most popular material for making dental crowns and other restorations.

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