Crowns are a good option for patients interested in restoring the appearance and healthy function of a tooth. A crown can be utilized as a dental solution for a variety of issues, including a means of strengthening a tooth with a cavity that will be too large for a filling, or as a way to conceal a discolored or broken tooth. Crowns can be used in the replacement of missing teeth, both with a bridge or dental implants and to protect teeth that have had a root canal.
Zirconia crowns are the popular choice for dentists not only because they are the strongest and most durable dental crowns, but also because of their 100% biocompatibility with the body. In fact, Zirconia has been used safely in prosthetics for fingers, hips, and ears since the 1960s, and for endodontic application since the 1990s. Patients are very happy with the results accomplished by their Zirconia crown, as they are least likely to fracture and can be matched to surrounding teeth to achieve a natural life like appearance.
Patients have the option of receiving a Zirconia crown in a single treatment session, or completed over the course of two appointments. To learn more about what Zirconia crowns can do for your dental health, call Old Town Smiles today to schedule an appointment.
Why Choose Zirconia?
Zirconia is called the “white metal” and is the material of choice for creating substructures in cosmetic dentistry. It gives crowns and bridges a whiter, brighter, and more translucent life-like quality. In the past, most crowns and bridges had a Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) substructure. These restorations were built on a dark metal alloy base, often looking opaque and monochromatic, with a dark greyness at the gum line.
All ceramic restorations made with Zirconia have the natural look and translucency of natural teeth as well as being twice as strong as PFM restorations and five times stronger than other all- ceramic restorations. Zirconia is made from zirconium, and is from the titanium family. Titanium itself is stronger than steel.
Amalgams and metal alloys used in dentistry can cause allergic reactions not to mention mercury contamination. The body accepts zirconia as a natural material, so you don’t have to worry about allergies or adverse reactions.
Zirconia crowns are strong, with a natural-looking white color. However, they are not as translucent as natural teeth. Zirconia is sometimes considered better-suited for the teeth further back in the mouth; the dentist may decide ceramic porcelain crowns will be the best option for patients’ front teeth. This decision will be made based on a patient’s particular case and discussed during the patient’s consultation.
Zirconia Crowns Vs. Alternative Crowns
Zirconia Crowns are a safe, durable option for patients who need to restore the strength and attractive appearance of their teeth. While Zirconia is an excellent option, patients in the past have also been satisfied with crowns made of:
Gold crowns overall are strong and long-lasting. Gold has good biocompatibility with the tissue and the opposing teeth. Gold crowns are visibly apparent within the mouth so patients that want to maintain the natural appearance of their teeth should consider an alternative material.
Porcelain crowns have a natural tooth color and exhibit a tooth-like translucency. Unfortunately, they do not have the durability of Zirconia crowns, and can eventually fracture. They are often recommended for the front teeth where aesthetics is important and strength isn’t as much a factor.
Patients who need to improve the appearance and strength of their teeth may also consider:
Veneers are pieces of porcelain that are molded and bonded to your tooth enamel in order to achieve a balanced, attractive-looking smile. Veneers can be a great option for patients who want to address gaps, crooked teeth, or simply want to correct fractured or discolored teeth. There is minimal tooth structure removed compared to crowns, but are an irreversible procedure. Patients who are interested in veneers are advised to schedule a consultation to have any questions they may have concerning their dental health and cosmetic concerns answered.
The resin used in dental bonding is capable of restoring or adding tooth material to broken, decayed, or smaller teeth. The resin will have a natural appearance and will match the surrounding teeth, but is not as strong a material as those used for crowns.
Good candidates for Zirconia Crowns have issues with any of the following:
- Damaged or discolored teeth
- A cavity which is large enough to disrupt the tooth structure to the point that a filling will not be sufficient
- Tooth decay
- A tooth that is or will be recovering from a root canal
- Uneven or disproportionate teeth, or other general cosmetic concerns that they would like addressed
If you are interested in a Zirconia crown, call Old Town Smiles to schedule your consultation with Dr. Ahmed. During your consultation, the dentist will examine your teeth, make sure that you are the best candidate for this dental solution, or determine if there is an alternative which will better fit the needs of your individual case. It is important to share your goals for your dental health and cosmetic appearance with the dentist at this time.
Dr. Ahmed specifically caters to the unique dental needs of every patient. If you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask!
At the beginning of your procedure to receive a Zirconia Crown, your dentist will numb your tooth with a local anesthetic. This step is taken even if the patient has undergone a root canal. A dental assistant will take impressions of your upper and lower dental arches. These will be used to create models of your teeth to assist in the creation of your crown.
The longest part of the procedure will be the preparation of your tooth. Your dentist will need to remove targeted portions of the tooth so that the crown can sit securely over it. It is not uncommon for old fillings to reveal tooth decay at this time. Tooth decay and old fillings will be removed and replaced with a composite core. Tooth preparation is a crucial part of a Zirconia crown procedure. Lastly, a final impression of the patient’s tooth will be taken and the patient will receive a temporary crown that is shaped to fit comfortably in the patient’s mouth and is cemented with temporary cement. This is why it is important to have your crown done by an expert like Dr. Ahmed.
The patient will schedule a day to return and receive their permanent crown. Your dentist will test your new crown thoroughly to make sure it fits snuggly over the tooth and comfortably within your mouth. Your dentist will also make sure the new crown matches the desired color of the patient’s teeth.
Immediately following the placement of your temporary crown, you will likely still be experiencing the effects of your anesthetic. Do not eat food and be wary about consuming hot liquids, as you are more likely to bite or burn yourself during this time. Once your feeling has returned, you are welcome to eat normally, but you should avoid hard or sticky foods for the first 24 hours after the crown prep.
If at any point your temporary Zirconia crown moves from its original position notify your dentist. This issue must be fixed, or else the underlying tooth has the risk of shifting. Care for your temporary crown with good dental hygiene, by brushing and flossing regularly. Floss carefully near your new crown.
Once the permanent Zirconia crown is in place, patients are once again advised to refrain from eating or drinking until normal sensation has returned after the anesthetic has worn off. Your dentist may advise you to avoid hard foods with your new crown, such as nuts or candy. You may also want to rethink any habit you have of chewing on ice, if you want to maintain the long-term health of your crown. It is important to brush, floss, and use a fluoride rinse regularly on your new Zirconia crown.
It can take a few days to adjust to the feeling of your new Zirconia crown. If your bite still feels off after several days or even weeks, however, contact your dentist. You may need to have a bite adjustment.
Your Zirconia crown will have the color and shape of your original tooth, but will be much more durable than enamel or porcelain. Your crown will look and feel fabulous. In order to maintain long-term results, make sure to brush and floss regularly.
The cost of a patient’s dental procedure will depend on the degree of work required by the patient’s case. Certain patients may decide to receive their crown over multiple appointments, or to pay more to have it added to the tooth in one single session.
After a consultation with Dr. Ahmed, she will be able to determine your best treatment plan and provide you with an estimate of your anticipated dental work. In some cases, patients’ insurance may cover a portion of their Zirconia crown expenses. Zirconia is the strongest dental crown currently available to patients, and thus the price can reflect this quality.
To learn more about the details of this and other dental procedures, call Old Town Smiles to schedule your friendly consultation.