Zirconia Crown: Uses, Advantages, Procedure and More

Beauty, Dental
3d render of jaw with teeth and dental crown restoration

In the world of dentistry, unrivalled strength and durability might be zirconia crowns’ best selling point. You may have heard about zirconia crowns from friends, family or over the internet but not really sure how it works and how it can benefit your overall oral health.

This article answers all your zirconia crown qualms but before we get into it, it is important to understand what dental crowns are in general.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crown installation process

Dental crowns or caps are a type of fixed prosthodontics that are used to cap, wrap or completely envelope damaged or cracked tooth to protect it from further damage. If a tooth is severely compromised, a normal filling may not be sufficiently strong enough to protect the tooth, hence, the need for crowns. Dental crowns are beneficial for patients with:

  • Weakened teeth due to heavy filling
  • Structurally compromised teeth portions
  • Heavily worn-down teeth due to constant wear and tear
  • Brittle teeth after root canal treatment
  • Misshapen or discoloured tooth brought about by trauma
  • Decaying teeth caused by a cavity
  • Implants (a dental implant is incomplete without a dental crown placement)

What do Dental Crowns do?

Essentially, dental crowns restore the structure, function and strength of a damaged tooth and save it from being completely extracted. In the same manner, protecting teeth from further degradation improves oral health and brings a better smile. At present, there are different types of dental crowns used by dentists worldwide. These types include metal, porcelain and most durable of them all, the zirconia crowns.

All set? From this point on, discover why zirconia crowns are the best dental crowns for you!

Why choose Zirconia Crowns?

Zirconia crown closeup

Zirconia crowns are the strongest type of dental crowns and are probably the top choice for dentists worldwide when it comes to repairing a severely damaged tooth. Specialists from Dental Designs give the following reasons:

  1. Most durable

Zirconia crowns are made up of powdered white metal oxide of zirconium, an element with titanium-like properties. Crowns made from zirconia is the strongest available and can withstand strong chewing and biting forces. Zirconia crowns do not easily break or chip off, unlike other crowns made from other materials. In fact, zirconia crowns are found to be 5x stronger than porcelain or porcelain-fused metal crowns.

  1. Natural-looking

Zirconia is a ceramic material. It is naturally white and greatly mimics natural tooth colour. From an aesthetic standpoint, zirconia crowns are the best options to match with the rest of your teeth without anyone ever noticing the difference.

  1. Biocompatible and Safe

In medicine, zirconia is frequently used for various prosthesis in many types of surgeries. This is due to zirconia’s proven biocompatibility with human tissue and does not cause any allergic reaction to patients making it 100% safe.

  1. They conserve natural tooth

During crown placement, some portions of the natural teeth to be covered must be “reduced” to fit the new crown in. As mentioned, zirconia crowns have a strong inherent strength and only requires thinner material and thereby conserves the natural tooth because less of the natural tooth needs reduction or removal. The more natural tooth remaining means less sensitivity.

  1. They adhere well with natural tooth

Zirconia crowns bond well with the natural tooth and the crown stays well in place. One reason why zirconia crown procedure can be quick is due to the fact that dentists can bond these crowns to the tooth structure with ease.

  1. 100% Metal Free

A lot of patients previously opt for metal crowns like gold crowns for their superior quality. On the other hand, metal crowns do not look natural and most people find it unattractive. Porcelain-infused metal crowns also have visible metal linings and some patients do not like how they look. Some patients are also not comfortable with the thought of having metal parts in their body. Zirconia crowns are 100% metal-free and are therefore best suited for individuals who want a more natural-looking smile.

How are Zirconia Crowns made?

In a dental laboratory, zirconia crowns are prepared from a block of zirconia. With advancements in technology, can be prepared using 3D printing and milling technology which are more precise, durable and time-efficient over other dental crowns. Some advanced clinics also have the correct equipment and technology to manufacture zirconia crowns in-office.

How are Zirconia Crowns fitted?

Fitting of zirconia crowns work just like how crowns made from other materials are fitted and usefully involves two stages:

 Stage 1: Assessment and Preparation of Zirconia Crowns

Of course, everything starts with a consultation with your dentist where affected teeth will be assessed. Then, for preparation, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and under a local anaesthetic, some tooth will be removed or reduced to make space to fit in the crown. Dental moulds will then be obtained and will serve as models for your new crowns to be manufactured in-office or in the dental laboratory.

Stage 2: Fitting of  Zirconia Crowns

When your new zirconia crowns are ready, your dentist will fit the crowns into your natural teeth by cementing them together. To ensure an aesthetic look, the final polishing will be performed. A complete zirconia crown procedure can be done in a single visit or through multiple visits depending on your dentist or clinic.

How much does a single Zirconia Crown cost in Singapore?

closeup of a dental crown

Due to its notable properties, Zirconia crowns do not come cheap. In fact, it is universally known that zirconia crowns are one of the most expensive types of dental crowns. In Singapore, a single zirconia crown can cost from about $1,000 to S$2,000. However, with the mentioned benefits of zirconia crowns, you definitely get what you pay for and totally worth it.

How long can Zirconia Crowns last?

Zirconia crowns are long-lasting, and with proper oral and hygiene, can last up to 15 years. Crowns, like normal teeth, should be brushed and flossed regularly to keep them clean and free from bad bacteria. Even when they are very durable, always bear in mind that biting down on very hard materials can bring damage to zirconia crowns (and even to natural teeth!) if you’re not mindful of what you eat. So, proper maintenance and observing correct oral care plays a great role in preserving the quality of zirconia crowns.