The zirconia crown: a stellar restoration element

Zirconia crowns are a type of permanent dental restoration used to fully cover a damaged or decayed tooth. They are highly recommended due to their durability, natural appearance, and biocompatibility.  Here are the details of zirconia crowns, including their composition, benefits, and applications.

Manufacturing Process

Zirconia crowns are made from blocks of zirconium dioxide, a ceramic material known for its strength and resistance to wear. The process of manufacturing zirconia crowns involves several steps:

Step 1: An impression of the tooth is taken and used to create a model of the tooth. This model is then scanned and using computer-aided design (CAD) software the crown is designed based on the specific requirements of the patient’s tooth.

Step 2: Milling: Once the design is finalized, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology is used to mill the zirconia block into the desired shape.

Step 3: Sintering: The milled zirconia crown is placed in a high-temperature furnace in a process called sintering. This strengthens the material and ensures its biocompatibility.

Step 4: Coloring and glazing: After sintering, the zirconia crown may need to undergo coloring and glazing processes to match the natural color and translucency of adjacent teeth, especially if this is a front tooth.

The zirconia crown: a stellar restoration element 1
Zirconia blocks are milled into a crown based on your individual needs.

Benefits of Zirconia Crowns

  1.  Zirconia is extremely durable, making it suitable for crowns in both the anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth. It can withstand biting and chewing forces. It is also appropriate for the manufacturing of bridges.
  2. Zirconia has a translucent quality that closely resembles natural tooth enamel. This makes the crown blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth, providing an aesthetically pleasing result.
  3. Zirconia is biocompatible, meaning it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions or adverse effects.
  4. Compared to some other types of crowns, zirconia crowns often require less tooth preparation, preserving more of the natural tooth structure.
  5. With proper care and maintenance, zirconia crowns can last for many years, providing a durable and reliable solution for tooth restoration.

Applications of Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns can be used in various dental restorations including:

  1. Individual crowns: Zirconia crowns are commonly used for individual teeth that have been damaged due to decay, trauma, or other factors.
  2. Bridge restorations: Zirconia can also be used in dental bridges, which replace one or more missing teeth by taking adjacent natural teeth or dental implants as pillars supporting floating teeth (pontics).
  3. Implant-supported crowns: When replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, a zirconia crown can be attached to the implant for a natural-looking and functional restoration.
  4. All on 4: In cases where multiple teeth are missing or severely damaged, it may be more feasible to extract and replace permanently with full-arch restorations such as implant-supported dentures or fixed zirconia bridges.
The zirconia crown: a stellar restoration element 2
Zirconia can be used for fixed all on 4 dentures

Zirconia crowns are a popular choice for dental restorations due to their strength, natural appearance, and biocompatibility. They are versatile and can be used in various dental applications, providing long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing results. Compared to other kinds of restorations, zirconia has the most cost-benefit relation, since it does not lose its esthetic properties with time, as does metal-porcelain or does not compromise strength as does porcelain. At the Costa Rica Dental Team, we stand by our work and offer an incredible 10-year warranty on the crowns we fabricate in our state-of-the-art onsite lab. We have been working for nearly 15 years on even the most complex cases and bringing smiles to patients who had lost hope in ever smiling again.

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