The advantages of zirconium dental crowns

Zirconium – a revolution in dentistry.
The name of zirconium comes from the Persian word zargon, meaning „colored like gold”. This metal is very tough and resistant to corrosion. Today, zirconium is the material with the highest mechanical and chemical strength used in dentistry.
Ever since zirconium has started to be produced at an acceptable price, its applications in medicine have become more frequent. Dentistry doesn’t use pure zirconium, but one of its compounds named zirconium oxide.
This material looks like white ceramics, with a translucidity similar to natural teeth, giving it a major esthetic advantage. The light can go through this material in the same way as through natural teeth, and with the same reflection. Lately, dental ceramics based on zirconium oxide has become one of the best materials used in dentistry for prosthetic reconstruction of teeth, crowns and bridges, in every area of the mouth.
Like gold, zirconium is basically biologically inert. It doesn’t cause any allergic reactions and can’t be affected by corrosion. In addition, zirconium doesn’t have any taste and it causes no discoloration or irritation of the pulp. It must be noted that this material is five times stronger than the classic porcelain used in the classic metal-ceramic crowns. Its extreme resistance to pressure makes it capable to withstand the forces of mastication and the daily wear without any danger of fractures.
Another main advantage of zirconium crowns is their extreme precision. They are made using computer systems and the blocks of zirconium oxide are cut with perfect accuracy. The technique is named CAM-CAD computer cutting technology (computer aided design – computer aided manufacturing).
Teeth grinding, wrong biting, dental cavities are some of the factors leading in time to teeth decay, fracture and fissures. Dental crowns cover the entire surface of a sick tooth. The crown shelters it, giving the tooth the needed strength, durability and stability.
Besides tooth support, the crown also has an esthetic role, to correct its shape or alignment.
Dental crowns based on zirconium are a great breakthrough in modern dentistry. Besides all of the other advantages, they are lighter than the ones on classic metallic support, which is a great advantage especially in larger crowns and bridges with several elements. Also, zirconium crowns are very unlikely to develop bacterial plaque.
There are two types of zirconium works. They can be made entirely from this metal and used especially on the sides, due to the extra strength required in that area. Another option is a zirconium frame with a ceramic layer on top, which creates the ideal transparency for the frontal area.
Due to the increased grip to the internal structure when compared to other classical works on metallic frames, ceramic applied on zirconium is very unlikely to fracture or fall off.
There is no risk of allergy from zirconium and no such cases are known. It is also thermic inert, it doesn’t transmit heat so the thermal variations don’t reach the pulp and the nerves, decreasing the risk of pulp irritation.
The CAD-CAM technology is very complex and as a result it is also very expensive. To attract more clients, some dentists try to decrease the costs by reducing the zirconium content of the works. Studies have proved that these cheaper crowns are also weaker, they don’t resist pressure as well and can break.
If you choose a crown made from this excellent material, you must be ready to pay a price that matches its quality.

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