Zirconia crowns are placed like any other type of crown, even though they are metal-free. If you’re about to get one, here is what you can expect.
On the first visit, you’ll get X-rays and undergo a routine examination to check the status of your teeth. You may also need to get a root canal treatment ahead of time if there’s any risk of infection or visible tooth decay.
During this visit, the tooth that is receiving the crown will be filed down on the tops and sides to make room for the crown itself. Since zirconia crowns are thinner, not as much of the natural tooth needs to be removed compared to porcelain to porcelain fused to metal. If too much of a tooth is missing, fillings can be used to “build up” your teeth. This way, there’s enough room for the crown to be placed.
Once the tooth is shaped, putty is used to make an impression of the tooth receiving the crown. This is then sent off to a dental lab that makes a crown to fit perfectly into your teeth upon your next visit.
Your dentist won’t leave your tooth vulnerable until then. At the end of your first visit, you’ll get a temporary crown to cover and protect your tooth while the permanent crown is made.
Once the permanent crown is ready to go, you’ll return to the dentist to have the temporary one removed, and the permanent one cemented onto the tooth. The fit and color of the permanent crown are checked beforehand. If need be, you may be given a local anesthetic to numb the area before it is planted.
What About Same-Day Crowns?
Some dentist’s offices might be able to administer same-day dental crowns if they have the necessary materials. The process of making the crown is a bit different in this circumstance. With same-day crowns, a digital wand takes a 3D scan of your mouth rather than your doctor relying on a physical impression.
Then, the digital design is sent to another office where an in-office machine, sort of like a 3D printer, carves the shape of a crown that can be cemented onto your tooth. This is called computer-aided design/ computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/ CAM). The whole process takes less than 15 minutes.
At the moment, this can only be done with ceramic crowns. However, as zirconia becomes more widely used in the dental world, this might soon become an option.
Oral Health and More — Zirconia Dental Crowns
Zirconia crowns are made of zirconium dioxide, and they are used to cover tooth surfaces that have been damaged due to decay, trauma, or anything in between. They are durable, resemble the color of real teeth, are less abrasive, and are more biocompatible compared to metal crowns.
The only real downfall with zirconia crowns is that they are expensive compared to most other types of crowns, and many dental insurance companies will not cover the cost of them. For that reason, you might be stuck paying out of pocket.
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