Gold crowns have been the gold standard in dentistry for some time because of its easiness to shape, resistance to rust and durability.
Some materials, however, are even stronger and more resilient than gold. Zirconia crowns are now becoming more popular than gold crowns, being used by dental practices, such as Castle Ceramics. So what does zirconia offer that gold cannot?
The Resilience of Zirconia Crowns
A Zirconia crown is one of the hardest known ceramic materials used in modern dentistry. This allows dentists to create an exceptionally hard type of ceramic crown. The average lifespan of a gold crown is around 10 years, while zirconia crowns can last upwards of 40 years.
A Zirconia crown is also durable, reaching strengths of over 1000 MPa. To compare, steel has a similar MPa, which means that zirconia crowns are literally as tough as steel. Gold is nowhere near as hard as these materials.
Zirconia is made of a material called zirconium oxide, mixed with yttrium oxide. Mixing the two substances together creates a stable and hard dental crown that can be milled down to shape. It is not the same material as the zirconia used in jewellery, but they are related to each other from a chemistry standpoint.
With these qualities, zirconia has become the first choice for dentists.
A Discreet Option
Whilst gold is a beautiful metal, it is not an attractive option for teeth. Gold is opaque and metallic, and obvious with a smile.
Zirconia crowns instead mimic the natural colour of the tooth. Your dentist will copy your natural shade by creating a ceramic paste that resembles the colour of your remaining teeth. The crown is milled into shape, guided by a digital impression to ensure that it is a perfect match, creating a perfectly new smile for the patient.
The superior strength and aesthetic quality of zirconia crowns makes it better than gold so hence why it has now become the obvious choice for dentists.