Zirconia – the same diamond-like simulated stone you know as cubic zirconia – is a white crystalline oxide derived from the metal zirconium. In addition to being used in all types of jewelry, it has also been studied and used for years to produce a variety of ceramics, including a type used in cosmetic dental restorations.
Porcelain is often fused to metals such as gold or palladium in order to create a natural-looking dental crown or dental bridge, and it can also be fused to zirconia. Because the bonding process between the porcelain and the zirconia is stronger than it is between porcelain and other metals, the porcelain is more durable, and is less likely to chip away from a base of zirconia.
Zirconia is translucent, allowing for light to pass through teeth in the most natural way, and does not block light like other metal cores. As well, crowns of metal zirconia do not reveal an unsightly dark line along the gumline with age and wear, even as the patient’s gumline recedes.
Full-zirconia dental crowns and bridges are also available. They are stronger than porcelain-fused-to-zirconia, and look more natural than a metal-alloy crown or bridge; however, they are not as natural in appearance as when porcelain is used with a zirconia base.
Zirconia is rarely reactive in the mouth for those with metal allergies, although it is recommended that any patient with an acute metal allergy be tested for reactivity before using zirconia as a restorative material. Traditional cements can be used to affix zirconia crowns and bridges, making them an attractive choice for patients who have sensitivity to full porcelain bonding procedures.
Zirconia restorations are extremely strong and suitable for use in the front or the back of the mouth. They easily hold up to both back teeth grinding and front teeth biting pressures. With some other crown materials, hot and cold sensations can be increased due to electrical conductivity; however, this does not occur with a zirconia crown.
Talk to your Bartlett IL dentist today to learn if zirconia is the right material for your dental crown or dental bridge.
Our dental office is located in Bartlett, IL