Metal ceramic crowns, non metal crowns and zirconium crowns

Metal and ceramic crowns
Dental crowns can be metal or non metal. Metals that are used in the manufacture of metal ceramic dental crowns are chromium, molybdenum or palladium (nickel is given up on due to allergic reactions). In the case of metal crowns, the name slightly deceives, because only their core is metal, while the outer part is ceramic.

Non metal crowns are made of zirconium, more precisely from zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), which belongs to a group of high-strength ceramic materials and should not be mixed with zirconium minerals, which is used for bijouterie. It is a zirconium oxide, which, except for artificial teeth, is used for artificial diamonds and other purposes where high endurance is required, so the zirconium crowns are stronger than metal ceramic ones. Besides zirconium, lithium disilicate ceramic crowns are also used.

They are made of full ceramics and they are intended for individual crowns and smaller tooth bridges in the front parts of jaws, however, for most patients, the zirconium crowns give the best overall results. Besides metal ceramic dental crowns, it is possible to make dental crowns of gold and titanium alloys, which is an option that has almost completely withdrawn from the practice due to high prices.

Advantages of zirconia crowns
Although metal ceramic dental crowns are still quite present in everyday dental practice, non metal crowns have made a revolution in dentistry. It was only with the appearance of a non metal ceramic crown that the crown was placed at the same aesthetic level as a completely healthy and properly formed natural tooth. Unlike metal ceramic crowns, artificial teeth with ceramic crowns are not transparent, they do not break the light in an unusual way and do not differ in the color from natural teeth.

The reason for these undesirable effects in metal ceramic crowns is their gray metal core and that is why ceramic crowns have become so popular in recent times. The fact that the non metal crown has no gray color in the background makes it possible to achieve high aesthetic results with bright colors of future porcelain teeth, in the case that patients want perfectly white teeth. Zirconium is colored in any desired color, and if the color of the future ceramic porcelain crown is A1, then the zirconium as a crown base is colored into A1.

Other important advantages of non-metallic ceramic crowns in relation to metal ceramic ones are biocompatibility and preservation of the tooth substance. Unlike metals that can produce allergic reactions, change the color of gum and their withdrawal, the non metal zirconium crown is characterized by a complete absence of soft tissue reactions, or allergic reactions.

In metal ceramic crowns in her neck part, metal screening can occur and that is because underlining is recommended underneath gums, in order to hide the edge. This will surely in time lead to the withdrawal of the gums and the divestment of the tooth entrance. When using ceramic crowns, it is not necessary to remove a significant tooth substance as it is for a metal ceramic crown. If for the metal ceramic crown has to be removed 1.5mm to 2mm of teeth, for the non metal crowns it is removed only 0.5mm to 1mm.

Metal ceramic crowns are still in use, mainly due to lower prices than non metal. Patients sometimes choose a combination of materials, so in the front parts of the jaw they get non metal crowns and in the back metal ceramic ones. In some situations, when a large number of teeth are missing but the patient does not want dental implants but a bridge, large distances are more easily connected by the metal ceramic bridge, because the metal has a greater elasticity than the zirconium neoprene crowns.


Word of doctor

PhD Milica Čelebić

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