A zirconia crown is a dental crown made of a high-strength zirconium dioxide. Nicknamed “ceramic steel,” it is so extraordinarily strong that it offers maximum protection for severely decayed or damaged teeth. In Baton Rouge, Dr. Theriot and Dr. Redhead restore teeth with zirconia crowns.
When Are Zirconia Crowns Used?
Zirconia crowns are a durable solution for molar teeth and bridges. We use zirconia crowns that are cast as a single unit for molar teeth and dental bridges. The crowns withstand the forces and stress of grinding and chewing.
While zirconia is available in a variety of shades and opacities to match your existing teeth, it is supplied as blocks of material that are milled to fit a tooth. But a natural tooth can have multiple colors in it. So, for front teeth that show in your smile, we like to have the zirconia overlaid with porcelain. A skilled ceramist can duplicate all the subtle variations in color that are present in natural teeth.
When pure zirconia is used, such as for back teeth, it is called monolithic zirconia. When porcelain is baked onto the surface it is called layered zirconia.
Characteristics of the crowns:
- Durable – The extraordinarily strong ceramic protects molar teeth and withstands the forces of grinding and chewing food.
- Metal-free – There’s virtually no risk of an adverse metal reaction to a zirconia crown because it’s made of ceramic.
- Versatile – Zirconia is available in different shades and opacities that affect how light passes through it. When a ceramist layers over the zirconia, the results are beautiful and natural looking.
Zirconia Crowns vs. Porcelain Crowns
Both zirconia and porcelain crowns are made of ceramic. What’s the difference?
- It’s the strongest dental ceramic available and much stronger than porcelain.
- Although it’s not as natural looking as porcelain, a ceramist can bake layered porcelain onto the crown to beautifully match the color and translucence of your natural teeth.
- A zirconia foundation is metal free, so it won’t show a dark line at your gumline.
- It’s not as strong as zirconia.
- It has lifelike beauty, color, and translucence. Porcelain mimics natural teeth so well that it’s often impossible to distinguish a porcelain crown from a natural tooth.
- A metal foundation strengthens a porcelain crown. But the metal makes the porcelain look dull, and a dark line from the metal eventually shows through your gumline.
- Porcelain can be bonded directly to your tooth to increase its strength. This is what we do when we create porcelain veneers.
What’s the Process?
Several steps are involved in receiving a dental crown:
- Dr. Theriot or Dr. Redhead will file and reshape your tooth, so the crown fits over it.
- We will use digital technology to scan your teeth, creating a digital impression of them.
- A ceramist will receive our instructions and your impressions and use them to make a custom crown for you.
- You’ll wear a temporary crown until the zirconia crown is ready.
- We will remove the temporary crown, clean your tooth, and place the zirconia crown on it.
- We will check your bite and ensure the crown feels good and fits correctly.
- After you approve the look and feel of your crown, Dr. Theriot or Dr. Redhead will bond it to your tooth.
How to Care for Your Zirconia Crown
- Avoid biting hard objects or using your teeth to open them.
- Brush your teeth daily and floss between them.
- Keep your dental cleaning and exam appointments.
- If you clench or grind your teeth, we’ll recommend a custom mouthguard for you to wear at night to protect your teeth and crowns.
If you are interested in zirconia crowns, contact our office to request an appointment for an exam.