Zirconia dental crown

Zirconia dental crown

Zirconia dental crowns are a newer material of dental ceramics that we use to fabricate dental crowns. They are a CAD CAM technology and a dental lab will mill the crown from a puck of material. They are popular due to the fact they are very strong and are similar to natural tooth color.  The most popular brand is Bruxzir

What is dental zirconia?

Zirconium is a metal that we can find in Australia and Africa as the mineral zircon (ZrSiO4). We primarily process zircon in Japan, where we also add the metal oxides yttrium, aluminum, and hafnium oxide. Yttrium stabilizes polycrystals, aluminum prevents water corrosion and hafnium oxide reduces pore development. By the time it leaves the factories it is in block form or disk form and is the ceramic Zirconia.

New Trend – Partial or Hybrid Zirconia dental crown

Zirconia-reinforced lithium silicates (ZLSs) are #2-3

  1. Schutz Dental has a new zironia reinforced composite for its Tizian milling machine
  2. Dentsply has Zir reinforced lithium silicate called CELTRA CAD for their Sirona MCXL
  3. Vident had same as Dentsply called Suprinity but looks like Dentsply bought that under VITA Zahnfabrik

Not all zirconia is the same!

Even if one does not consider the hybrids or the newer translucent zirconia not all zirconia is the same from company to company. A couple names that appear to be very trustworthy are Nacera, Katana and Zirkonzahn .

Breakdown of esthetic zirconia crowns

Esthetic zirconia crowns

The dopant yttria (Y2O3) is increased from about 3mol% to 5mol% or more to make zirconia more esthetic (translucent).  Dopants, like Y2O3, stabilize the tetragonal zirconia phase causing a higher amount of cubic phase particles.  Cubic zirconia, think fake diamond, is much more translucent but is lower in strength.

  1. Ceramil Zolid FX Multilayer – translucent and multi-shade
  2. Prettau Anterior
  3. BruxZir Anterior 650 MPa
  4. Kantana has UTML and STML in multi-layer.  Impressive stuff.

Katana ST > Katana UT > IPS e.max Press Conejo J Dent Res. 2016

Translucency of zirconia types are listed below.  ST and Prettau anterior about same and HT and Bruxzir about same.  UT nearly as good emax.

zirconia crown translucency @1mm zirconia crown translucency @point5mm

In office millable zirconia

  1. BruxZir NOW – 800 MPa

Zirconia crown = Oxide-based ceramic (like alumina) oxides used CaO, MgO, Y2O3, CeO2=stabilizer=dopants that prevent phase transformations

zirconia crown dopants

More zirconia dopants by brand

yttrium-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (3Y-TZP) – strong because as tension induces tetragonal to monoclinic at area of crack, compression stress is then generated around the crack by surrounding tetragonal particles reducing crack propagation Garbelotto 2013

Wear of dental zirconia

Wear of polished and glazed Zr against enamel and ceramic Best to worst 1

  • Against enamel polished Zr>enamel>polished then glazed Zr>glazed Zr>veneering ceramic
  • Against ceramic polished Zr>veneering ceramic>polished then glazed Zr>glazed Zr>enamel
  • Basically polished Zr is best 

Zirconia wear enamel less than PFM porcelain Mundhe 2015 JPD Sept

Cement or bond zirconia?  How bond zirconia?

Cementing with RMGI is the best even for short preps.  Ivoclean then RMGI.

Cement or bond zirconia Gordon's tips

Gordon’s tips

To bond gold standard is tribochemical.  Can also Sandblast with 50-60um alumina or silica coated alumina particles below 2 bar, Z prime, Panavia 21.   tooth=sandblast, Panavia 21 primer A and B.  This is a version of the APC, air abrade, prime, dual-cure or self-cure cement.

Xie 2016 Dent Materials shows CoJet is the best bond so maybe just do that.

Zirconia bonding of anterior teeth

Some same zirconia does not bond but I can assure anyone that these 6 PFZ crowns were very well bonded on when I had to remove them.

Zirconia wear


CR Report showing that zirconia does not wear opposing BUT it appears to be wearing more heavily.

The newest CR research (graph above) has me a little (with a little l) concerned that there is some phase transitions happening and this wear will accelerate.  The article makes mention that phase changes were seen in hips up to five years so we are likely entering a critical time period with this data. CR June 2014

Although I am far from an expert on medical zirconia it seems that based on this article (http://biomed.brown.edu/Courses/BI108/BI108_2007_Groups/group05/pages/saint_gobain_desmarquest.html) that zirconia joints got a bad name from a manufacturing error that resulted in one bad batch.  They are still used today and the issue with phase transition seems to have disappeared for the most part.

Experimental zirconia products – Glass-zirconia composite dental crown

Ceria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia/alumina is Ce-TZP/A is meh.

Work continues to improve the chemical make-up of crowns.  It is amazing how fast these changes are coming.  We are already to a point where the majority of dentists don’t understand the differences between the available products.  The research being done by Dr.Zhang appears to be similar to Lava Ultimate but the changes in density as get deeper would be nice improvement.  The ultimate goal is to produce a lifelike material that can be very thin and hold up.  This idea of mixing materials and changing the percentage of different material at different depths has promise.

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