Everything you need to know about zirconia crowns

Many patients who come to the dental clinic with pain, most often after the main treatment, need to install dental crowns on damaged teeth. And when it comes to material selection, people don't even know what they might encounter during installation and operation. Previously, information was described on what types of crowns are and what their main differences are. This time we will take a closer look at zirconium crowns, what they are, how they are installed, repaired, and other issues.

Content: 

  1. How manufacture zirconium crowns
    • Manufacturing Options
    • Colors of zirconium crowns
  2. How are zirconia crowns placed?
  3. Removing the zirconia crown
  4. Repair of zirconium crown
  5. How to determine is crown from zirconium or not
  6. How much are zirconia crowns
  7. How to care for zirconia crowns
  8. The harm of zirconium
  9. The service life of zirconia crowns

How manufacture zirconium crowns 

Zirconium dioxide is used to make such crowns. This material is more durable and wear-resistant, made of ceramic, so patients choose it more often.

Dental crown installation requires tooth preparation: ground down the required amount according to the protocol, scan or take impressions from the prepared tooth.

After that, the dentist sends the received materials to the dental laboratory, where, using 3D modeling, a specialist creates a design of a future zirconia crown. After that, the data is sent to a special milling machine, where the dental crown is machined with the help of burs.

For dental purposes, zirconium dioxide is produced in blocks that resemble chalk inconsistency. It is from these blocks that the zirconium tooth crown is then machined.

Since the chalk-like structure of zirconium dioxide is rather fragile, after making a model, it's sent to professional high-temperature furnaces, where the sintering process takes place. After that, the zirconia crown becomes hard, and all subsequent corrections of its form occur manually, adjusting to the comfort of the patient.

Manufacturing Options

1) One-piece zirconium crown. There is no admixture of other materials, so this option is the most durable, but in its aesthetics, it is inferior to ceramics. In fact, it is monolithic tooth-shaped zirconia, which is painted in accordance with the color of neighboring teeth.

2) Zirconium, covered with ceramics. It is a more attractive option in terms of appearance, but also more expensive.

However, any decision on the material is made based on the doctor's testimony, and not from personal motives, so you need to consult with the doctor and come up with a compromise that will help you save money while maintaining all the necessary requirements.

Colors of zirconia crowns. 

Each manufacturer of zirconia blocks has its own color book, so you can choose any shade to match your teeth. Also, according to individual orders, you can make the color you want.

The production time for zirconia crowns takes approximately 3-7 days.

How are zirconia crowns placed? 

The fixation of dental crowns made of zirconium dioxide is identical to the installation crowns made of cermet.

The crown is placed under local anesthesia (if necessary) and the tooth is isolated using a rubber dam. But not in all cases.

After that, it is thoroughly cleaned and degreased, and the crown is disinfected. Depending on the situation, the doctor chooses cement for fixing the crown, and if necessary, lights it up to harden it.

On average, the installation of zirconia crowns takes approximately 10-30 minutes. The undoubted advantage of such prostheses is that they can be fixed at once in a group of 2-3-4 crowns, which saves a lot of time, and in the case of zirconium, it is also less traumatic.

Important! If you need a long dental bridge (5-6 teeth long), then it is better to give preference to metal-ceramic crowns made of titanium or chrome-cobalt alloy. A zirconium dioxide bridge may not be able to support the load without additional support. Therefore, long bridges are best made with the support of a titanium beam.

At the same time, the zirconium crown sits very well on a single implant and serves for many years.

Also, if you are interested, you can find out whether it is worth putting zirconia crowns on chewing or side teeth.

Removing the zirconia crown

To remove the crown of zirconium, anesthesia will be required without fail. After it, the dentist will cut with a bur and remove all the material of the crown. The remaining tissues of the tooth are maximally preserved.

Choose the clinic where the doctor works with a microscope, and not “by eye”. This has the advantage that, with the help of it, the specialist can more accurately remove the crown, without damaging the tooth under it.

It is also worth considering that zirconium is strong enough, so the removal of such a crown is a time-consuming and more difficult process, especially if it is single. The cost of such manipulation is about 80-100 EUR.

Repair of zirconium crown

If you have a solid zirconium crown, then, alas, it will be impossible to repair a chip on it, because the integral structure of the material will be violated. In this case, you will need to install a new one. But this is a rather rare situation, because a zirconia crown on a tooth, as mentioned above, is quite strong.

As for the crown on the basis of zirconium (i.e., the zirconium crown, and the outer part of the ceramic), here experienced doctors can reanimate the broken part by gluing a composite filling, following a special technique.

The second option for repairing such a crown is to install a veneer instead of a filling. The difference lies in aesthetics and price. The installation of a composite filling will cost approximately 100 EUR, and a veneer – 600 EUR.

How to determine is crown from zirconium or not 

In appearance, this cannot be done, you will only have to mill the dental crown and then study the layers of material. If this is a zirconium crown near the gum, and the outer side of the dental crown is made of ceramics, then only a doctor can determine here using a microscope.

If these crowns are completely made of zirconium, then an experienced dentist will be able to determine the material by sound. Sometimes cheap labs make the mistake of using cheaper materials that may look like plastic. In this case, their sound will be duller.

But in general, it is difficult to distinguish zirconium from ceramic if the crown was made by a good craftsman.

How much are zirconia crowns

The cost of zirconium crowns can vary from 500 to 900-1000 EUR per piece. Such a range of prices depends on the experience of the doctor and the complexity of the procedure. So, if the aesthetic component is extremely important for you, then the cost of a crown per tooth will be higher.

How to care for zirconia crowns

Since zirconium has a fairly high biological compatibility with the human body, then caring for it will not differ much from the standard procedure for caring for teeth. That is, you can continue to clean them with your favorite toothbrush, as well as threads and irrigators.

The harm of zirconium 

At the moment, the harmfulness of zirconium has not been proven. Through research, scientists have found that this material, on the contrary, has a very high biocompatibility with the human body, which is equivalent to titanium.

Moreover, zirconium is used in those rare cases when there is an allergy to titanium. That is, implants are even made from it, they are much more expensive, but they are also used in exceptional cases. Zirconium is also used to create prostheses for the knee and hip joints, which indicates its safe effect on humans.

The service life of zirconia crowns 

As a rule, such crowns for teeth serve practically the whole life. Rarely, there are cases when something went wrong with a zirconium prosthesis. Since zirconium also belongs to metals, then it behaves like metal, only biocompatibility is higher.

As for the mixture with ceramic, here the service life is reduced, since this option is more fragile due to its properties, but can last about 10 years if done professionally.

Important! The above terms apply only to the crown design itself, that is, there is no guarantee for the tooth. If they are not looked after and not cleaned, then the tooth can easily rot under the crown and under the gum, and the entire structure will be lost.

author
ALEKSANDR MAKAROV
Dentist, surgeon, orthopedist

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