Can Zirconia Dental Crowns Crack?

Are they considering a dental crown for tooth repair? The American Dental Association (ADA) highlights dental crowns as a solution for reinforcing teeth that, while damaged, retain enough structure that other means cannot repair. Essentially, a dental crown serves as a cap for the compromised tooth. Among the options for dental crowns, zirconia has emerged as a favored material among dental practitioners due to its durability. With the proper care and regular dental appointments, Zirconia crowns can last from a decade to several decades. Here’s a closer look at the resilience and lifespan of zirconia dental crowns.

What Constitutes a Zirconia Crown?

Originating from zirconium dioxide, a strong metal oxide, zirconia crowns boast remarkable strength. Introduced to dentistry in 2010, their popularity has surged, primarily because they don’t need a metal base to maintain their stability, making them more visually appealing. Zirconia’s resistance to wear and demanding nature make it hard to crack.

The Lifespan of Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia stands out for its robustness and fracture resistance. Dental professionals often hail it as the most resilient non-metal crown material available. Assuming regular oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and periodic dental examinations, a zirconia crown can serve its purpose for ten years or much longer.

Is It Possible for Zirconia Crowns to Crack?

Despite zirconia’s notable strength and longevity, circumstances can lead to its fracture. Here are some common factors that might contribute to the fracturing of a zirconia crown:

  • Inadequate preparation design: Precise measurements and adequate space are crucial for the lab to craft the crown properly. Issues can occur if a dental practitioner prepares for a high-quality zirconia restoration but opts for a different type of zirconia, affecting the crown’s placement and fit. Additionally, leaving sharp angles or edges on the natural tooth could cause friction and points of stress between the crown and the tooth.
  • Improper material handling: Fractures can also stem from mishandling in the dental lab or during the crown’s installation. For instance, adjusting the crown’s fit by drilling could lead to fractures.
  • Subpar crown construction: An overly thin construction is a leading cause of zirconia crown fractures, significantly impacting its strength.

While the chances of a zirconia crown fracturing are low with a competent dental practitioner and a reputable lab, it’s a rare but possible scenario. If you’re exploring options to mend a cracked or damaged tooth, discuss the possibility of zirconia dental crowns with your dental care provider.