What is dental zirconia?

The dental zirconia is zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), which is a powdered form of zirconium. Since the 1990s, zirconia is used for endodontic posts and implants. (Endodontic post helps you retain your restorations and fillings as well as crowns).

Zirconia crowns are the strongest dental crowns. They are made of zirconium, which is a silicate invented by a German chemist called M. H. Klaproth in 1789.

Solid zirconia

  • As the name suggests solid zirconia is tougher compared to the high translucent zirconia. It can withstand chewing forces as well as bruxism forces better.

  • Solid zirconia also suits root canal treated teeth, by offering stronger support to weak teeth.

  • As it’s opaque, it’s more suited for posterior/ back teeth.

Advantages of Having Zirconium Crown

Zirconium is becoming one of the most chosen materials for dental crowns. Its many advantages include:

1. Superior looks:  as zirconia is white naturally, it allows the transformations to any shade which match with the rest of your teeth. Zirconia is translucent, thus, it mimics the translucency of your natural teeth.

2. More confident smile:  zirconia has no metal lining at the gums. Porcelain fused to metal crowns were popular earlier, however they have a metal layer underneath the porcelain layer which is on top of the crown. This fusion / metal lining is visible usually at the gum line. This is more evident when you smile. Zirconia crowns help you get over this and boost your confidence. You can also give zirconia any shape/ size to match the rest of your teeth.

3. 100% biocompatible: no zirconia crown allergy has been reported so far.

4. Extraordinarily tough: zirconia is the strongest crown, it can withstand wear and tear. It does not chip off, unlike porcelain. If you maintain it well, it can stay in your mouth forever. It is at least five times stronger than porcelain or porcelain fused to metal/ PFM. It also tolerates chewing or biting forces well. It has a very high flexural strength: zirconia has a flexural strength of 1200 MPa. (Flexural strength is the force that your crown tolerates.)

5. They bond well with your tooth: zirconia crowns adhere well to your tooth. One of the reasons why PFM crowns were the preferred choice is that the metal surface bonds well with the tooth and holds the crown in place. Zirconia also has this property. These crowns require less tooth removal than many other types of dental crowns.

6. Metal-free: many people used to prefer gold crowns because of its excellent physical properties. However, now since looks are more important to people, they want to look natural and young. Some people also don’t like having metals in their body. Zirconia is most suited for them.