What is zirconia?
It is a kind of white alloy used instead of grey metal which is the base of classic porcelain bridge and denture prosthesis.
Where is zirconia used?
Zirconia crowns are mainly used in cosmetic dentistry. It can be used for mostly with an esthetic purpose to eliminate extensive discoloration when bleaching does not give intended results, for treatment of hereditary discoloration of teeth, for slightly crowded and crooked or separated teeth problems such as diastema when orthodontic treatment is not preferred, for restoration of discolored teeth with old fillings which have structural defects and excessive material loss, on back teeth as bridges or crowns, for implant-supported dental prosthesis on front teeth and to design smile esthetics.
What are the esthetic advantages of zirconia crowns?
Due to its translucency properties, the look of natural teeth can be made. The dentine of the healthy teeth transmits the light completely. Metals, which are the bases of the classic porcelain crowns, create an opaque appearance of the teeth. This causes the teeth to look dull and artificial. It is prevented by using zirconium.
How is its compatibility with oral tissue?
Zirconia crown is a tissue compatible substance. Gums' discoloration from pink to purple which is seen in metal based prosthesis on the neck of teeth never occurs. It does not cause gum recession. If gums recede due to a wrong brushing technique, it does not create an esthetically bad appearance.
Can it be applied to those who are allergic to metal?
Zirconia crown does not cause allergic reactions because it does not contain any metals.
Does zirconia crown cause taste change in the mouth or oral malodor?
Because it is not comprised of metal, it does not cause any taste change or oral malodor.
Is there a possibility of discoloration of zirconia crown?
Due to its smooth and lubricious surface, it does not lead to plaque accumulation. For this reason, it is not affected by colorants such as coffee, tea and cigarette. Its color remains the same.
How can I carry out its maintenance?
Zirconium teeth are brushed just as natural teeth are brushed. Super floss is used instead of dental floss and for areas without teeth. Possible problems can be foreseen and precautions can be taken when the patient regularly comes to the appointments for control once every six months.
For how long can I use zirconia crown?
You can use it for a very long time if you come to the appointments regularly. It cannot be said that you will use it for a certain time. Teeth are made of living tissue and form changes would be observed due to corrosion and friction. There will not be any changes on the zirconium crowns. It might be requested to renew the crowns to adapt them to the mouth.
Does its removal when change is requested damage my teeth?
Because the crowns will be removed by being clipped, you will not feel any discomfort. Zirconium does not cause tissue loss on your teeth.
How is zirconia crown applied?
The tooth is made a little smaller just as in the process of metal based crowns and when the gums regain their healthy conditions, precise measurement is taken with particular measurement substances and measuring spoons which are suitable for the mouth. In laboratory environment, having been covered with porcelain superstructure over its zirconium base which has a suitable color for the teeth, the crown is fitted to the tooth in the dental clinic. Lastly, it is permanently adapted to the tooth with special adhesives. Now, you can use it conveniently without distinguishing it from your natural tooth.
How much substance loss of my teeth will there be during the process?
Substance loss is much more than porcelain lamination. It is the same as the metal based crowns. Between 1-2 mm are trimmed from the natural tooth surface.
Do I feel any pain during the process?
Trim process is performed under local anesthesia and after then, tingling due to hot and cold is prevented by temporary crowns', which has natural tooth color. A slight tingling is seen in very few patients. Usually, the process is completed without any problems.
Will I have esthetic problems during treatment?
Especially, the crowns which are made for your incisors would be similar to your permanent zirconium crowns in form. These crowns which are made of acrylic are not resistant to force; but, their color and shape would satisfy you.
How long does it take treatment to be complete?
With patients whose gums are healthy, treatment is completed within 1 week. Considering patient's taste, several try-on sessions can be added until both the dentist and the patient are pleased with the result.
Is there any age restriction to apply?
The patients can be treated in any age after the permanent teeth eruption. However, in treatments which are made until the ages of 18-20, the crowns need to be regularly renewed due to the fact that gaps between teeth is observed because of jaw growth in this stage of growth. Thus, it is not recommended.
How durable is it if compared with porcelain and metal crowns?
With methods used in recent years, zirconium based crowns and bridges are as durable as metal based crowns and bridges. Its fragility is much less than porcelain. In comparison with metal, it is less elastic and more fragile. This situation makes porcelain adapt more easily to zirconium than metal. As a consequence, it minimizes porcelain fractures.
Are fractures seen and do crowns fall off frequently?
Fractures or cracks can be seen with excessive force but this possibility is the same as the one of a natural tooth. To a large extent, it can be repaired in clinic environment. It may fall off if there is a lot of material loss in the tooth over time due to tooth decay under the crown. In such cases, the tooth is treated if possible and the crown is cemented back.
Are there any disadvantages of zirconia crowns?
It is not recommended in the back area where long gaps with no teeth would increase the possibility of cracks.
Can it be applied to those who have gum disease?
Firstly, the gum disease is treated. After the treatment, it is compatible with gums in every aspect. When cutting and cementation processes are successfully completed, good results that make our patients smile can be achieved.