Can Zirconia Crowns Crack

Although zirconia dental crowns are highly durable and very strong, they’re not impervious to damage. A zirconia crown can crack or break for a few different reasons, including substandard design or preparation, improper handling, and inappropriate use. Dental crowns are used to repair and restore teeth that are severely decayed, broken, or otherwise damaged. They are also often used to protect teeth that have had root canal treatments, helping restore and maintain their integrity. While dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, zirconia is steadily becoming the preferred option in many cases and for a few different reasons. In addition to providing a natural appearance, zirconia crowns are highly durable and, when placed by an experienced, reputable dentist and cared for properly, they can be expected to last for 15 or more years.

Patients should care for their zirconia crowns as they would their natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing and routine visits to the dentist. It’s also important to avoid destructive habits, like using the teeth to open bottles or chewing on pens or ice, and, if you chronically clench or grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your crown. While behavior modification and healthy habits can help preserve your zirconia crowns, some crowns might be less likely to succeed because of errors and oversights in their preparation and placement; this is why it’s so important to work with a reputable dentist who’s trained in up-to-date technologies and experienced with zirconia and other crown materials.

Many expert dentists prefer to use digital imaging to plan and prepare zirconia crowns, as opposed to the traditional dental impressions that have historically been used. These digital imaging technologies allow crown preparation that is highly precise and that encourages long-lasting strength and durability. If a crown surface isn’t sized and spaced properly, for example, the forces of the bite are disproportionately shifted to the adjacent teeth, damaging both the crown and the surrounding teeth. Dentists who are more familiar with the material properties of zirconia prefer to use 3Y zirconia, which contains 3% yttrium oxide and is incredibly strong and resistant to cracking. In some cases, newer brands of zirconia have been modified, in an attempt to provide improved aesthetic results, with weaker formulations that are more likely to break or chip. Ask your dentist what formulation of zirconia their lab technicians use, and, if they don’t use 3Y brands of zirconia, consider working with a different dentist or asking about a different lab.

While zirconia has been used for decades in endodontic procedures, its use in dental crowns is more recent. Newer dentists with less clinical experience might not be as adept or highly trained in understanding the material’s characteristics, and continuing education in this and other dental innovations is an integral part of a dentist’s professional development. While zirconia crowns haven’t been in use for very long, evidence suggests that a zirconia could last as long as 20 years, but it will take some collaboration and communication with your dentist and cooperation on your part to ensure their longevity and keep your smile attractive and intact.

Advantages of Zirconia Crowns