In recent years dental prosthetics have improved a lot. There are new dental materials that have revolutionized dentistry. One of these is Zirconium.
Zirconium oxide is the most durable type of dental material available on the market. It is 5 times more resistant than the traditional porcelain fused-to-metal restorations.
Although the material is still quite expensive and less accessible, Zirconium has many advantages:
• It is highly resistant to wear and masticatory forces without the risk of fracture.
• In addition to being very durable, it has a very good white colour and translucency, just like natural teeth, making it a very aesthetic material. Because of the absence of internal metal structure, light passes through it similar to passing through the natural tooth and is reflected the same, which is very important for frontal restorations.
• Zirconium dental restorations are made by cutting a solid block of zirconia with very high accuracy by a computerized machine using CAD-CAM technology.
• A very important advantage is the lack of corrosion over time, so there is no gingival irritation or metallic taste that can occur like in classic restorations case, especially after a number of years.
• Zirconium restorations are even lighter than the fused-to-metal ones, so the patient feels less to no discomfort and the accommodation happens quicker, especially if we talk about long bridges.
• Zirconium is thermo-insulating, so the temperature variations are not transmitted to the tooth pulp, thereby decreasing the risk of a possible future pulp inflammation.
• Being a biocompatible and bioinert material, it is very well accepted by the body and there is no risk of allergic reaction.
There are two types of restorations:
• Monolithic Zirconia, most often used for the back teeth, because is has a very high resistance to larger forces in this area. The disadvantage of monolithic Zirconia is that they lack the fluorescence and translucency that front teeth have.
• Zirconia core with aesthetic layered porcelain applied, that provide the ideal transparency and aesthetics for the front teeth.
The situations where the ceramic applied over the Zirconia breaks are extremely rare, due to increased adherence to its internal structure compared with the traditional fused-to-metal porcelain.
To find out the price for a zirconia crown go to our Pricelist page.
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Zirconium is certainly the future of dentistry and has many long-term benefits.
The sophisticated manufacturing technique and the high price of the material keeps the total price of such dental restorations still pretty high.
There are also dentists offering Zirconia restorations at lower prices, but they are not as resistant to masticatory forces and have increased risk of fracture, so it is better to avoid the cheap ones.
Of course the patients are the ones to decide whether to restore their teeth with Zirconia, depending on their financial possibilities, but it is always best to discuss with your dentist before taking any decision.
Eventually, dental restorations is not something you change everyday, it is meant to serve you for 8 to 10 years, so it's good to plan carefully.
Also read about Dental Implants.