What Are Zirconia Dental Crowns?
Zirconia dental crowns are used to repair and protect a damaged or decayed tooth. They’re made of a strong and durable ceramic material called zirconia, which is a type of zirconium dioxide.
Unlike traditional metal crowns, zirconia crowns are fully translucent, which makes them a great option for front teeth where aesthetics are important. The color of the zirconia can be matched to the surrounding teeth, making it difficult to detect that a person has a crown. Zirconia crowns are also biocompatible, which means they’re not likely to cause allergic reactions or irritation.
Benefits of Zirconia Dental Crowns
There are several benefits to using zirconia dental crowns for restoring damaged or decayed teeth, including:
- Aesthetics: Zirconia crowns are fully translucent, allowing them to closely match the color of the surrounding teeth.
- Biocompatibility: Zirconia is a biocompatible material, which means it’s unlikely to cause allergic reactions or irritation.
- Strength and Durability: A strong and durable material that’s resistant to wear and tear. It’s also less likely to chip or break compared to traditional porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
- Long lifespan: They can last for many years with proper care.
- Digital laboratory process: Zirconia crowns are fabricated through a digital process, which is faster, more precise, and more accurate.
- Better fit and bite: They provide a better fit and bite, which results in a more comfortable and natural-feeling restoration.
- Versatility: Zirconia crowns can be used in a variety of dental applications, including dental bridges, inlays, onlays, and porcelain veneers.
The procedure for placing zirconia dental crowns typically involves the following steps:
- Preparation: The first step is to numb the area around the affected tooth using a local anesthetic. The dentist will then remove any decay or damage from the tooth and shape it to make room for the crown.
- Fabrication: Impressions of the tooth are taken and will be sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is fabricated. The laboratory will use the digital impressions to create a 3D model of the tooth, and then mill the crown from a solid block of zirconia. This process is faster and more accurate than traditional laboratory techniques.
- Temporary crown: In the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown on the prepared tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready.
- Placement: Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent one on the targeted tooth. They’ll adjust the crown for a proper fit and bite before cementing the crown in place.
- Follow-up: You’ll be given instructions on how to care for the new crown, including what to eat and drink and how to maintain good oral hygiene. You’ll return to the dentist for a follow-up appointment to ensure the crown is functioning properly.
Taking Care of Your Dental Crown
After receiving your zirconia crown, make sure to take care of your oral health to increase the longevity of your restoration. Here are some tips:
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly, at least twice a day.
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
- If you experience any pain or sensitivity, contact your dentist immediately.
- Avoid biting on hard or sticky foods for at least 24 hours after the crown is placed.
Frequently Asked Questions
On average, a zirconia dental crown can last between 10 and 15 years. The longevity of a zirconia crown can vary depending on its location, how well you take care of your teeth, and the quality of the materials used.
Zirconia crowns are highly visible. However, they’re matched to the color of your natural tooth, providing a natural and aesthetic appeal.
Zirconia crowns are suitable for back teeth, as they provide strength and durability. They can also be used for front teeth, where aesthetics is a priority. It’s essential to discuss the options with your dentist and choose the best suitable one for you.
If you have zirconia crowns, be aware that teeth whitening products can cause the crowns to appear darker or mismatched compared to the rest of the teeth. In this case, it’s best to discuss whitening options with your dentist before proceeding.
Revive Your Smile
Zirconia dental crowns can be can be an excellent option for restoring a damaged tooth. At Southern Cal Smiles, Dr. Fredericks will help you decide which treatment is best for you. To learn more about zirconia crowns, or to schedule an appointment with our Woodland Hills dentist, contact us today.