Zirconia Advantages in Dentistry
Dental crowns are, simply explained, prosthodontics solution for missing tooth or largely damaged tooth. After tooth preparation of tooth and taking dental impressions, production of dental crown continues in a dental laboratory. There are many different ways for production of dental crown depending on the type of crown. When talking about different types of crowns it is actually related to the type of material used for crowns. For long period of time, metal-ceramic crowns were used as the best option for this type of reconstruction. These crowns consist of a core that is made of metal alloy (even golden alloy in many cases) covered with ceramic. With the progression of dental material technology, new solutions appeared.
Today, the golden standard for production of dental crowns is zirconia. Zirconia is crystalline dioxide of zirconia, very strong material with great mechanical and aesthetic characteristics. It can be used as a core of future prosthodontics work such as crowns and bridges on existing, patients teeth or on implants, but also as a material for a full zirconia crown made of zirconia known as monolithic zirconia crowns. Differences between metal-ceramic crowns and zirconia crowns are numerous where many advantages go for zirconia crowns.
Primary, the greatest advantage of zirconia over metal-ceramic crowns is related to aesthetics in the way of superior translucency of zirconia crowns. This is usually the only advantage that patients will notice when deciding over better prosthodontics solution for themselves. When patients decide to have zirconia crown, it is also important to know the differences between different zirconia crowns. This is mainly related to monolithic or full zirconia crowns and ceramics fused to zirconia crowns. Monolithic zirconia crowns are made out of zirconia block and usually can’t be modified for better esthetics while ceramic fused to zirconia crowns have many options for esthetical improvements with ceramic layering, shading and later polishing.
Basically, the aesthetic problem with monolithic zirconia crowns is related to lack of translucency which can be modified with improved zirconia like 3D Pro Multilayer from Bloomden. When we speak about better aesthetic properties with zirconia crowns, beside better translucency that is the greatest advantage, next great advantage of zirconia crowns is that the metal color in the gingival area is absent. This was often a problem with metal-ceramic crown since the metal of these crowns appears as a shadow in the area of marginal gingival, especially with thin gingival biotype. Another problem with metal-ceramic crowns in this area appears during the preparation and cementation. When your dentist prepares a tooth for metal-ceramic crown they make micro-lesions in marginal gingival that can interact with metal in the crowns and lead to the appearance of “metal tattoo”. With zirconia crowns, all these effects can be avoided since there is no metal involved with zirconia crowns, and the natural and healthy look of marginal gingival is achieved.