Not all of us have a perfect dentition. In fact, few people will not need to visit a dental office at some point. Some of us will go there just for periodic checkups, which means that we take good care of our teeth. Unfortunately, many people go to a dentist only when they really need to.
Many patients need just minor treatments, such as a simple cavity or a scaling procedure. However, some patients require complex treatments, such as an implant supported restoration or a large denture. These types of procedures need time.
In later years, restorative dentistry has greatly improved. New materials have recently emerged and have revolutionized dentistry. One of these materials is zirconia. Zirconium (or zirconia) is a very hard white ceramic. It’s basically the strongest material used in dentistry to this point.
You can find more information about zirconia in dentistry by visiting this oral health site.
Zirconia has many benefits, although it is still expensive. Besides being extremely durable and tough, it has a white color and very good translucency features which makes zirconia restorations highly aesthetic. Moreover, zirconia restorations are executed by computer systems, thus they are extremely accurate.
How is zirconia utilized? Zirconia is mainly indicated as a base material for porcelain restorations. For example, in case of a dental crown the core of the artificial crown can be made of zirconia (instead of metal). The zirconia structure can then be layered with aesthetic porcelain to create the final color and shape of the tooth. These types of restorations are very aesthetic as they are metal free.
In some situations, it is possible to construct all zirconia crowns or dental bridges (without a porcelain layer on top) . They have a white color and they are generally indicated in the back part of the mouth cavity, where aesthetic demands are not extremely high. Nevertheless, these restorations are very strong and durable.
Another application of zirconia is for dental implants. Some implants have only the visible part made of zirconia, while the part of the implant that is inserted into the jawbone remains metal (titanium). However, in 2011, an all-zirconia implant was introduced into the market. All-zirconia implants are not used in the everyday practice yet because the data on them is still limited. However, zirconia dental implants have the potential to become a viable alternative to titanium implants.
Zirconia seems to be the future in the dental area. Although it is still expensive, it has a lot of advantages in a long-term . Of course, it is up to the patient to select the material based on its price and its features (for example, not everyone can afford a large zirconia restoration).
Nevertheless, it is advisable to discuss with your dentist the benefits and drawbacks of each material before you make your choice.
Remember, a dental restoration in not something that you need everyday so it is always important to plan carefully.