Zirconia Dental Crowns

Comprehensive Guide to Zirconia Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a common dental restoration used to restore the shape, size, and function of a damaged or decayed tooth. Zirconia dental crowns are a relatively new type of crown that has gained popularity in recent years due to their strength, durability, and natural appearance.

Our Sacramento dentist explores zirconia crowns, offering you insights into this newer type of dental restoration.

What Are Zirconia Dental Crowns?

Zirconia dental crowns are made from zirconium oxide, a high-quality ceramic material. These crowns are known for their strength, durability, and natural tooth appearance. The zirconia closely resembles the color and translucency of the natural tooth enamel, making it a popular choice among patients.

woman smiling

Benefits of Zirconia Crowns

There are several benefits to choosing zirconia crowns. Some of the most notable advantages include:

  • Durability: They’re incredibly strong and resistant to wear and tear, making them a long-lasting solution for dental restorations.
  • Aesthetics: These crowns are known for their natural tooth appearance, which makes them a great option for front teeth or other visible areas of the mouth.
  • Biocompatibility: Zirconia is a biocompatible material, meaning it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction or other adverse effects in the body.
  • Precision: Crowns made of zirconia can be milled with great precision using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology, ensuring a precise fit and minimal adjustments.

Drawbacks

While zirconia crowns offer many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. These include:

  • Cost: Zirconia crowns can be more expensive than other types of dental crowns, due to the high cost of the material and the specialized equipment required for fabrication.
  • Difficulty With Adjustments: While they can be milled with great precision, this can also make them difficult to adjust if needed.
  • Potential for Chipping: While these crowns are strong, they may be prone to chipping or cracking if subjected to excessive force or trauma.
  • Difficulty Bonding: They may be more difficult to bond to the tooth structure compared to other types of crowns, which can increase the risk of complications such as dislodgement or decay around the margins.

dentist smiling at their office

The Zirconia Dental Crown Process

Consultation and Preparation

The first step in getting a zirconia dental crown is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. During this appointment, your Sacramento dentist will examine your tooth and determine whether a crown is necessary. If a crown is deemed necessary, your dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay or damage and shaping the tooth to make room for the crown.

Impressions and Temporary Crown

Once the tooth has been prepared, your dentist will take impressions of the tooth and the surrounding area. These impressions will be used to create a custom-fitted zirconia crown that matches the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth. While you wait for the permanent crown to be made, your dentist will place a temporary dental crown over the prepared tooth to protect it.

Crown Placement

Once the zirconia crown has been fabricated, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the new crown over the prepared tooth. Your dentist will check the fit and color of the zirconia crown in the office to ensure that it looks and feels natural. Once the crown is properly fitted, it will be permanently cemented onto the prepared tooth.

Post-Placement Care

After the crown has been placed, we’ll provide you with instructions on how to care for your new restoration. Practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, to prevent plaque buildup and decay. Additionally, it’s best to avoid habits that can cause damage to the crown, such as chewing on hard objects or grinding your teeth. With proper care and maintenance, a zirconia dental crown can last for many years.

Zirconia Dental Crown Cost

Zirconia crowns typically cost between $1,000 to $2,500. The total cost will vary based on the following factors:

  • Geographic Location: Urban areas with higher living costs generally have higher dental costs than rural areas.
  • Dentist’s Experience and Reputation: Well-established dentists or specialists may charge more for their services.
  • Dental Laboratory: The quality of the zirconia material and the craftsmanship of the dental lab making the crown can influence the cost.
  • Additional Procedures: If other treatments or procedures are needed in conjunction with the crown placement (root canal, a dental implant, dental bridges, or gum treatments), the overall cost will increase.
  • Dental Insurance: If you have dental insurance, it may cover a portion of the crown’s cost, depending on your policy.

woman sitting in the dental chair and smiling

Frequently Asked Questions

Are zirconia crowns better than porcelain?

Both zirconia and porcelain crowns have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Zirconia crowns are generally considered to be stronger and more durable than porcelain crowns, which makes them a better choice for patients with bruxism (teeth grinding) or other conditions that can cause excessive wear and tear on the teeth.

How long do zirconia crowns last?

When properly cared for, a zirconia crown can last 10 to 15 years. The lifespan of a zirconia crown can vary depending on factors such as the patient’s oral health and hygiene habits, their bite and chewing patterns, and the quality of the crown itself.

Do zirconia crowns look like real teeth?

Yes, zirconia crowns can be made to closely resemble natural teeth in terms of color, shape, and texture. Zirconia is a translucent material that allows light to pass through it, which helps to create a natural-looking appearance. Additionally, zirconia crowns can be customized to match the surrounding teeth in terms of shade and translucency, making them virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Can zirconia crowns turn yellow?

Zirconia crowns are made of a durable material highly resistant to discoloration and staining, which is one of their advantages over other types of crowns. Like natural teeth, zirconia crowns can be affected by smoking, excessive consumption of coffee or red wine, or poor oral hygiene. To maintain the color and appearance of zirconia crowns, practice good oral hygiene habits and avoid habits that can cause discoloration.

See If Zirconia Restorations Fit Your Needs

Zirconia crowns are a strong, durable, and aesthetically pleasing type of dental crown that offers several benefits over other types of crowns. If you’re considering zirconia crowns for your dental restoration, be sure to talk to our dentists about the pros and cons of this type of crown, and whether it is the right choice for your individual needs and circumstances.

Call our Sacramento dental office today to schedule a consultation.

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