Patients in need of metal crowns now require zirconia or porcelain crowns, since both materials offer strength and realistic aesthetics. Since the use of ground zirconia restorations, more and more patients have requested zirconia to replace PFM restorations. Some dentists exclusively use zirconia or full ceramic restorations, especially to restore a tooth. Most dental practices are shifting from traditional porcelain and all-ceramic crowns to the use of zirconia to make fixed dental restorations. Zirconia crowns and bridges are becoming increasingly popular because they are highly aesthetic and virtually indestructible.

1. What is Zirconia?

Zirconia is a metal oxide extracted from the titanium group metal zirconium and can be found all over the world. Common household items such as tableware, pipes and electrical appliances are made of zirconia. Due to its natural strength and durability, zirconia is an ideal material for making dental crowns. In general, zirconia is best suited to patients who require posterior crowns, which give them the most ease in chewing and grinding their food.

2. What is PFM?

As the name suggests, the metal-fired porcelain (ceramic crown) is a combination of metal and porcelain. The colour of the porcelain coating matches the colour of your teeth, but darker metallic colours may appear on the gum line, especially when your gums recede. PFM restorations are usually recommended to patients seeking strength and a natural appearance.

3. The Reasons to use zirconia instead of PFM?

There are many reasons for using zirconia instead of PFM, here are some main reasons why zirconia is better than PFM.

  • Special Power

Zirconia provides excellent strength and durability for dental crowns. Its strength is at least three times that of porcelain or porcelain restorations. Unlike porcelain, zirconia can withstand wear without chipping, which is why zirconia restorations can withstand extreme chewing and grinding. Due to the use of a new type of monolithic zirconia (single, solid zirconia), this type of crown is almost unbreakable, able to withstand harsh environments, and the back of the oral cavity is more durable than all-ceramic crowns.

  • a Natural Smile

Zirconia has no metal lining on the gums. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns actually have a metal layer under the porcelain layer on the top of the crown. This metal lining can usually be seen on the gum line, as well as when the patient is smiling. For patients who want to smile naturally, this can be embarrassing. The zirconia crown completely avoided the metal lining, making the patient smile confidently. In addition, the zirconia crown can be manipulated to fit any size or shape to match the patient’s other teeth.

  • Reliability and Durability

Zirconia is even more durable than traditionally used porcelain. For example, solid zirconia contains more stabilizers than PFM ceramics, making it more durable to withstand strong chewing and grinding. If properly maintained, zirconia repair can last the patient’s life.

  • Custom Made

Zirconia can be manufactured in many ways depending on its chemical composition and processing requirements. This customization minimizes errors and ensures that everyone is a perfect fit.

  • Safer for Patients

The high biocompatibility of zirconium dioxide will not cause allergies to patients who have an allergic reaction to porcelain repair. Quite a few dental patients are allergic to the alloys used in the manufacture of porcelain crowns. If the patient faces these allergies, this is a sign that zirconia should be repaired when used. As zirconia is very biocompatible, it is very safe to use crowns and bridges made of zirconia in a clinical setting.

Zirconia restorations have been successfully used for many years, providing patients with excellent strength, durability and realistic aesthetics. Currently, the demand for zirconia far exceeds the demand for PFMs, and these old-fashioned repairs are becoming a thing of the past. If you want more information, please feel free to contact us. Zirconia materials are our expertise for repair, and our technicians are always happy to discuss your specific problem.