Here’s a fun fact for you:
Did you know that tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body?
Tooth enamel is so strong it’s actually easier to scratch steel than it is to scratch tooth enamel. Yet while enamel is about as tough as they come, its mineral make-up means it’s far more brittle than steel. This explains why teeth can hold up to a huge amount of daily pressure from biting and chewing, but then unexpectedly crack when you bite down on a popcorn kernel.
The Dental Crown Dilemma
Usually, the fix for a cracked or broken tooth is a dental crown. (Think of it as a hard shell around your tooth, covering the visible surface and protecting it from further damage.) When it comes to finding the right materials for that crown, you’ve got to find something pretty strong to replicate enamel’s durability. In the past, dentists turned to metal. But while it excelled in strength, it wasn’t so great for smile aesthetics. Another popular option was porcelain-fused-to-metal, a slightly more aesthetic option that maintained metal’s strength, but it still fell short on aesthetics; PFM crowns often appear denser and opaquer when compared to natural teeth’s slight translucency and subtle color variation. Finally, all-porcelain crowns mimicked the appearance of natural teeth extremely well, but were less durable; while medical-grade porcelain is quite strong, it was not as long-lasting as the PFM or metal options.
So what’s the best solution? Aesthetics or strength?
The answer is both: zirconia is a material that offers the best of both worlds, combining the strength of metal with the beauty of porcelain.
Zirconia Crowns? What are those?
At our practice, we use BruxZir™ solid zirconia for dental crowns and other restorations like bridges and partial dentures. So. . . what exactly is zirconia?
Zirconia crowns are created with zirconium, a very malleable, corrosive-resistant metal that’s a lot like titanium (the material of choice for many dental implants). To create the enamel-like finish, zirconium is combined with yttrium oxide, (a strange name, but basically, it’s a white solid substance that gives the zirconia crown it’s tooth-like appearance). While zirconia crowns were first created more for “brawn than beauty,” recent improvements have improved their aesthetics and made them a top choice for patients looking for life-like results.
Superpower Strength Put to the Test
Zirconia crowns are actually so strong that a recent study from a dental research group showed that they had a 100 percent survival rate with zero “terminal” fractures after eight years in the mouth! The dental research group, called the Gordon J. Christensen Clinicians Report, is made up of dentists who test dental products from all over the world. Their non-biased testing helps dental professionals understand which materials and tools are best for using in-practice. For over eight years, the group studied 200+ different materials for dental restorations and found that BruxZir was the best! That’s pretty strong evidence coming from those who have truly seen it all.
While these are all reasons we love zirconia crowns, we also choose them because of their fast turnaround. Our advanced dental technology allows Dr. Medina to create custom-made zirconia crowns right inside our Camden dental practice. While porcelain or PFM crowns may take weeks to fabricate in a dental laboratory, zirconia crowns can be formed the very same day of treatment. That’s good news for our patients because it means no temporary resin crowns that can break or become loose, and no weeks of waiting for your final crown. Your teeth can be protected much faster thanks to our ability to create dental crowns while you wait.
Zirconia Crowns from your Camden Restorative Dentist
Do you have a damaged or painful tooth? Are you looking for a restorative dentist in the Lincoln, Knox, or Waldo County area? Call us today to speak with a member of our friendly staff! We’d love to help you schedule your first consultation with Dr. Norman Medina.