Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by a dentist or prosthodontist. Crowns are used most commonly to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth or cover an implant. Bridges are commonly used to cover a space if you’re missing one or more teeth. They are cemented to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the tooth once stood.
Zirconia is a metal classified as a member of the titanium family and is mined around the world. It is found in dinnerware and electrical fixtures among other products. It’s known for its durability, making it an ideal product to use in dental crowns, especially posterior crowns that require a lot of strength for chewing and grinding food, notes a study published by The Open Dentistry Journal.
The metal has become popular as a crown material, since it is supplied to dental offices in the form of a block, which is then milled by a computerized cutting machine (CAD CAM) into the shape of a tooth. Then, once it is fitted, it is cemented in the patient’s mouth. Since that whole process can be accomplished in one dental appointment, it has become widely used by dentists, since patients can have a crown shaped and cemented in much less time than the traditional porcelain crown, which may take a few weeks to manufacture, and requires a cementation visit in addition to the initial visit.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
Many dental offices may charge less for a zirconia crown as opposed to a porcelain crown, since it does not have to be outsourced to an outside dental lab. Additionally, with today’s hectic pace of living, many patients prefer the one appointment for its convenience, since it means less time out of work. The crowns can be easily adjusted by the dentist chairside on that day and cemented once the fit is perfect for the patient.
Zirconia as a material is not as translucent (allowing light) as porcelain crowns, so patients may not like the appearance of them, says Dental Economics. Advancements are being made to improve the color and look of zirconia crowns, so in the future, the appearance may be a non-issue. One of the best qualities of zirconia is its strength. The adjustment process on the day of the crown fitting in some instances can take a little longer that traditional porcelain crowns, but the sophistication of new milling machines streamline that process, according to Dentistry Today.
How Do You Care for Zirconia Crowns?
To care for your zirconia crows, brush and floss daily like you normally would. Brush with a toothbrush like the Colgate 360° Advanced 4 Zone toothbrush, which removes bacteria from teeth, tongue, cheeks and gum. It is available in soft and medium bristles.
Zirconia crowns can be a good option for many patients undergoing crown treatment, and great oral care habits can help ensure years of satisfaction and dental health for patients everywhere.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.