A photo of a full-arch case created by First Choice Dental Lab. It is made of zirconia, used for crown and bridge dental work.

Zirconia: The Ultimate Material for Crown and Bridge Dental Work

As a dental professional, you’re always on the lookout for the latest and most advanced materials to offer the best possible solutions for your patients. Among these innovations, zirconia has emerged as the superior option for crown and bridge dental work.

So, what makes it so enticing? Why has it gained such popularity? Are there any downsides to know about?

Here, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of two types of zirconia — full-strength zirconia and esthetic anterior zirconia — and why we often recommend zirconia as the go-to material for top-notch dental restorations.

Full-Strength Zirconia: Combining Strength and Durability

Full-strength zirconia, also known as tetragonal zirconia polycrystal, is widely recognized for its incredible strength, durability, and reliability. If you’re into technical limits, it boasts a flexural strength of over 1,000 MPa.

But, what does that mean for you and your patients? Well, that’s the sort of strength that makes it not only an ideal choice for posterior crowns and bridges, but also a preferred option for robust restorations in high-stress areas of the mouth.

Because of its incredible resistance to wear and tear, zirconia crowns and bridges tend to last longer than those made of other materials, like porcelain.

This durability translates to fewer replacement procedures, increased patient satisfaction, and ultimately, cost savings for both patients and dentists.

However, with that said, this durability does come with a downside.

As strong as full-strength zirconia is, one of its major drawbacks is its opaqueness, making it slightly less appealing for purely esthetic restorations in visible areas.

So, you’ll want to take that into consideration when deciding which material to go with.

zirconia dental restoration
Related: Should you choose screw-retained or cement-retained zirconia crowns?

(click image for article)

Esthetic Anterior Zirconia: Enhancing Esthetics with Natural-Looking Translucency

So, what can you do if you need the toughness of zirconia but need it to look good, too?

For dental cases where esthetics are of paramount importance, esthetic anterior zirconia is the ideal choice.

That’s because it offers a level of translucency that closely mimics the natural appearance of tooth enamel, creating a more lifelike result, and increasing patient satisfaction with their restorations.

Innovations in esthetic anterior zirconia have led to improved strength without sacrificing the desired translucency, rendering it suitable even for anterior crowns and bridges where esthetics and strength are equally important.

While its strength isn’t quite as high as full strength zirconia, esthetic anterior zirconia still surpasses the strength of traditional porcelain.

With that said however, it’s typically more expensive, due to its increased esthetic value. For patients seeking a more affordable option, this can be viewed as a drawback.

Related: Here's Why You Should Utilize Diagnostic Wax-Ups in Your Practice

(click image to learn more)

Zirconia vs. Traditional Materials: A Clear Winner

The benefits of zirconia over traditional materials, like porcelain, go beyond durability and esthetics.

In addition to its strength, zirconia is more biocompatible, and less likely to cause adverse reactions or inflammation when placed in a patient’s mouth.

This property is particularly valuable for patients with allergies or sensitivity to metal, increasing their range of potential dental solutions.

Moreover, zirconia is more resistant to chipping and fracturing than porcelain, leading to a longer lifespan for the appliance and a more predictable outcome for both you and your patients.

Key Takeaways

In the battle of dental restoration materials, zirconia is a clear winner, offering a perfect balance of durability, esthetics, and biocompatibility.

Whether opting for full strength zirconia for efficient posterior restorations or esthetic anterior zirconia for lifelike results, zirconia is the ultimate choice for crown and bridge restorations.

However, consider each patient’s specific needs and the restoration’s location in the mouth when deciding between these zirconia types.

When it comes to crown and bridge work, zirconia undoubtedly takes the crown as the material of choice.

If you’re unsure of which material would be best for you and your patients, never hesitate to reach out to us! At First Choice, we specialize in a  whether zirconia, gold, porcelain, and everything in between.

Contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss your next treatment plan.

How can we help you create a smile today?


About First Choice Dental Lab

First Choice Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with locations in Downers Grove, Il. & Wauwatosa, Wi.

We manufacture & customize quality dental restorations for general dentists. We create smiles based on your needs and budget.

We’re here to help you give your patients a reason to smile!

Request your fee schedule today by completing the form on this page.

  • Work With Us!

  • Already a client?