A zirconia crown is a popular type of all-ceramic crown which is worn to improve the appearance of a tooth which has become stained or disfigured over the years. They are durable, easy to wear and long lasting.
Plus zirconia crowns have a translucent appearance which means that they are indistinguishable from your own teeth. It is hard to spot a zirconia crown amongst natural teeth.
What is a zirconia crown?
This type of crown is made from zirconia, a very strong material which is compatible with the human body. Zirconia is used in many other medical applications such as artificial joints and is known for its strength and durability.
Zirconia is a type of crystal which is long lasting and indestructible.
Plus there is no fear about the body rejecting zirconia or displaying an allergic reaction to it. It is safe to use and preferred by many people to porcelain fused to metal crowns.
Advantages of a zirconia crown
There are three advantages which are:
- Strength: zirconia crowns last longer than other types of crowns.
- Aesthetics: these crowns have an attractive translucent colour which blends in well with the other teeth.
- Retain more of the existing tooth: minimal preparation is required which means more of the original tooth is preserved. This is useful if the crown needs to be removed.
So, a good choice if you are looking for a strong, long lasting and visually appealing crown. They are ideal at covering signs of damage or staining as well as helping to maintain the function of the tooth.
Disadvantages of a zirconia crown
The tough, durable nature of a zirconia crown can work against it as well as in its favour. This material has an abrasive quality which can cause friction against the root of the tooth as well as other teeth.
How is a zirconia crown fitted?
The process is similar to that for other crowns. It involves two stages: preparation (first stage) and the fitting of the crown (second stage).
The first stage is where your teeth are assessed and measured for a crown. The dentist will discuss the procedure with you before preparing your affected tooth. This preparation involves the cleaning of the tooth before reshaping (which reduces its size) with a small drill.
A small sliver of tooth is removed under a local anaesthetic which ensures that the tooth is the correct shape for the crown.
A mould is made with dental putty which you will be asked to bite into. This is used as a guide for the production of your new crown at a dental laboratory.
The second stage is where you will be fitted with your new crown. The tooth which will receive this crown is roughened with a special dental acid which scratches the surface and increases the bond between crown and tooth.
The crown is then fitted onto your tooth. The dentist will check its appearance and fit before cementing it into position. It is then given a final polish.
A zirconia crown must be cared for in the same way as your natural teeth.
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