If tooth damage due to caries or other causes is so extensive that an inlay or onlay is no longer an option for stability reasons, but the tooth root is still intact, then a dental prosthesis in the form of a crown is required. A dental achievement that has proven itself in recent years to be the ideal material for high-quality dental prostheses is the all-ceramic crown made of zirconium. The "white gold"- also called ceramic steel- is a dental prosthesis that meets the highest demands.
What kind of material is zircon (abbreviation for zirconium dioxide/zirconium oxide/zirconium dioxide)?
Zirconium dioxide is made from zirconium silicate. This silicate sand is washed, cleaned and calcined to obtain a 99 percent pure zirconium dioxide powder. This powder is sintered (heated under high pressure) to produce highly resilient ceramics. The material is characterised by high abrasion resistance and good chemical resistance. Zirconium oxide is used, among other things, as a prosthetic material - for hip joint implants, for example - or in dentistry for the production of tooth-coloured crowns, bridges and implants that should not contain metal. For telescopic dentures, primary telescopes can be made of zirconium oxide.
What types of zircon crowns are available?
The fully veneered zirconia crown (veneer crown) consists of a milled zirconia framework that is veneered with ceramic in layers by hand by the dental technician. The natural tooth colour is exactly reproduced in the process. The HT zirconia crown (HT = High Translucent) is milled monolithically from a block of zirconia, whereby the zirconia block is selected in advance according to the matching shade. After the HT zirconia crown has been fabricated, only the patient's individual tooth colour is applied and fired.
What are the advantages of zirconia crowns for the patient?
Zircon crowns are very hard and resistant. Crowns made of this material have a high bending strength and can withstand a strong chewing load, therefore they are very durable. An all-ceramic crown does not need a metal framework, so even if the gums recede, no dark crown margin will be visible on the gums. Zircon crowns are colour-stable and hypoallergenic, and the very smooth surface of the material is difficult for plaque to adhere to. Due to its basic colour characteristics and the light transmission similar to natural teeth, zirconium matches your own teeth aesthetically perfectly and can be matched very precisely to the individual tooth colour with ceramic veneering or colouring.
What are the disadvantages of zirconia crowns?
For the fabrication of a zircon crown, from the preparation and colour determination to the fitting of the finished crown in the denture, 3-4 sessions at the dentist are required. For notorious teeth grinders, ceramic dentures may be unsuitable due to their brittle hardness. With veneered ceramic crowns, chipping of small pieces of veneer may occur, the so-called "chipping".