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Aesthetic dentistry - Zirconium crown

The newest achievement of the modern aesthetic dentistry is the so-called zirconium dioxide crown which is fully metal free.

What is this material: zirconium dioxide?

Zirconium dioxide is a natural mineral sometimes known as zirconia (not to be confused with zircon), it is a crystalline oxide of zircionium. Zirconia mining occurs worldwide in China, Japan, and Indonesia. Natural occurring form of zirconium dioxide is white powder a small-sized crystalline.

Several different oxides are added to zirconia to stabilize the tetragonal and cubic phase, for dentistry purposes they use yttrium dioxide (Yttria = stabilized zirconium), and then zirconia is formed into blocks. From the block  the technician could create zirconium crowns manually or by CAD-CAM systems. The CAD-CAM is a professional computer-controlled ’tooth-carving’ machine). The picture below represent zirconium blocks.

Zirconium blocks

It makes no difference what method is used by the technician, but it is important to know that a cap will be carved out from the pre-manufactured zirconium block. This cap will be the base or frame of the crown and it will fit perfectly on the stump. This direct contact between the cap and tooth makes the importance of zirconium dioxide because this mineral material is totally metal-free it and anti-allergenic therefore it is suitable for everyone.

Zirconium crown, metal-free, anti-allergenic

Zirconium dioxide has transparent and translucent features therefore the crown made from zirconia is aesthetic and perfectly similar to the original tooth. The picture below represents the difference between porcelain-fused-to-metal (on the left) and zirconium dioxide dental crown (on the right).

zirconium crown vs metal crown

How will the zirconium dioxide crown be placed onto your tooth?

  • At the fist visit our dentist uses impression paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth which will be replaced by the crown. This impression helps the technician building realistic crown which will fit perfectly into your mouth. The dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth.
  • Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. Then our dentist will use impression paste again on the stump, because the zirconia cap will be fitted to it. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.
  • During this first office visit our dentist will make you a temporary crown to cover and protect the reshaped tooth while the crown is being made.
  • Afterward begins the work of technician who builds the zirconium cap using the impressions. The porcelain will be put on the zirconium dioxide cap and will be fixed by burning.
  • At the second visit your dentist will remove your temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. First the cap will be put in your mouth to make sure that the crown will perfectly fit to the stump. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.