What Is The Minimum Thickness For A Zirconia Crown?

Like most people, you probably think crowns are thick and bulky. You may be surprised to learn that modern zirconia crowns are much thinner and more subtle than traditional crowns. But just how thin can they be? And what is the minimum thickness for a zirconia crown?

You can find zirconia crowns here to better understand what they look like. Before we get into minimum thicknesses, it is important to understand what a zirconia crown is.

What Is A Zirconia Crown?

Zirconia is a strong, white ceramic material made from a metal oxide, Zirconia dioxide, that can be used to make a wide variety of dental products, including crowns. Zirconia crowns are made by taking a 3D scan of your tooth and then using a computer-aided milling machine to carve the crown out of a block of Zirconia.

Why Do People Need Zirconia Crowns?

After evaluating you, your dentist may recommend a Zirconia crown if your tooth is too damaged or decayed for a filling or other type of restoration. Here are some common reasons why people need zirconia crowns:

  • Protect a tooth that is too damaged or decayed for a filling
  • Support a tooth with a large filling
  • Hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Make a cosmetic change, such as changing the color of a tooth

Now that we know a little more about zirconia crowns let’s talk about minimum thickness.

What is the Minimum Thickness for a Zirconia Crown?

Your zirconia crown should be at least 0.3mm thick to ensure a successful outcome. This offers more accuracy during milling and reduces the likelihood of chipping or breaking.

In addition, sharp edges and angles can stress the crown and lead to fractures. So, they must be chamfered (blunted) at the edges to reduce the risk of fractures.

It’s also crucial that gingival margins (the edge of the crown where it meets the gum line) have a minimum depth of 0.6mm to ensure the gingival tissue remains healthy. This depth also makes the dental crown more retentive.

What are the Benefits of a Zirconia crown?

The trend of using Zirconia for dental crowns is rising due to its many benefits. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from a zirconia crown: 

Customization – With a zirconia crown, you can get a more personalized and natural look. Whether it’s your molar or incisor, the high-quality material of Zirconia will provide the perfect shape, size, and shade that you desire. So you have the opportunity to not only retain your teeth’s original structure but can also enhance your smile.

Shade Matching – Zirconia can be designed in a wide range of shades, so your dentist can easily find a color that closely resembles your natural teeth. 

Stain-Resistant – You no longer have to worry about your crown yellowing or staining over time. The non-porous nature of Zirconia prevents any materials, such as coffee or nicotine, from seeping in and discoloring your Smile.

Retention of the original tooth – Most dental crowns tends to cover a large portion of the tooth, resulting in the loss of some of the original tooth. Zirconia crowns are different. They are milled to perfectly fit your tooth, so only a small portion of the original tooth is removed. This helps to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible.

Longevity – With proper care, a zirconia crown can last up to 15 years or longer. 

Crown preparations that may cause a Zirconia restoration to fail

There are several reasons why a zirconia crown may fail. The most common ones are:

Excess cement – using excessive cement when fitting the Zirconia restoration may lead to the build-up of plaque around the gum line and eventually to sensitivity and gum disease.

Use cutting devices – To make any adjustments, it is recommended that you use non-cutting devices that will not damage Zirconia or any soft tissues.

In conclusion, zirconia crowns are an increasingly popular option for dental crowns due to their many benefits. To ensure a successful outcome, your zirconia crown should be at least 0.3mm thick and have gingival margins that are at least 0.6mm deep. With proper care, a zirconia crown can last 15 years or longer. However, there are several reasons why a zirconia crown may fail, the most common of which is using too much cement when fitting the crown. Therefore, your dentist needs to use the right amount of cement.

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