Zirconia crowns or bridges are a revolutionary and natural restoration option for patients who need a single dental crown, a bridge, or a crown that sits on an implant. Zirconia or zirconium is an incredibly resistant material that withstands wear and tear, and looks identical to natural teeth. When teeth are decayed to the extent that inlay or onlay restoration can no longer be used, dental caps or dental crowns are used to completely cap or encircle an implant or a tooth, which has been previously filed under local anaesthesia. On the other hand, a bridge is made up of two or more crowns and they span the spaces where tooth loss has occurred. Bridges need to be cemented to implants or surrounding natural teeth, which serve as anchors for the bridge.
Which are the advantages of zirconia crowns and bridges, and why do they fare better than porcelain fused to metal crowns?
- Aesthetically superior – the translucence of zirconia makes it identical to the look of natural teeth, so much so that it’s hard to tell the difference between natural teeth and zirconium teeth. Moreover, the lack of metal in zirconia crowns means that they let light pass through teeth just like natural teeth do, and don’t block the light as porcelain fused to metal crowns do.
- High precision technology – the special CAD-CAM computerised technology that is used in the making of zirconia guarantees perfect fit and aesthetical exquisiteness;
- Best alternative in case of metal allergy – although porcelain fused to metal crowns are also a good option in terms of aesthetics and durability, given that zirconia is 100% metal-free, it causes no metal allergy;
- Durability – zirconia is hailed as an extremely durable material outlasting many other aesthetic solutions (e.g. porcelain may chip and break). It’s extremely resistant to wear and tear, and it’s one of the primary reason why people choose it as a material for tooth restoration. It’s considered at least five times more durable than porcelain.
- Biocompatible – apart from being metal-free, it’s also biocompatible, causing no other adverse reactions;
- Customizable – zirconium can be customized in terms of shape, size and colour to match existing teeth of the patient.
The almost entirely computerised manufacturing process of zirconium bridges and crowns makes sure that ultimate precision, excellent fit and superior aesthetics are achieved in a short duration of time. Unfortunately, these superior qualities do come at a higher price than conventional tooth restoration solutions. However, considering that a zirconium crown or bridge will outlast these, it’s an investment worth considering.
While the costs of zirconium crown and bridges is still very high in countries like the United States (approx. $1000 per unit) and the United Kingdom (around £600/unit), it’s more economical to travel abroad for this treatment. In Hungary, for example, dental crowns can be 50% cheaper compared to the prices in the UK.
If you’re looking for excellent aesthetics, irreproachable quality and teeth that withstand the test of time, zirconium crowns and bridges are your best tooth restoration option.