Zirconia, ceramics and composite masses are the materials used to make prosthetic dental replacements. Each material has its own advantages and the material chosen depends on the current condition of the tooth itself and the best thing would be to decide, together with your dentist, on the material replacement of the prosthesis according to the opportunity, your own personal desires and your financial possibilities.
Zirconia- This is a material of the highest quality and aesthetic value, of very high-gloss level and accordingly, with the highest price.
It is used for crown prostheses and bridges on implants and natural teeth as a complete prosthetic replacement or as a substrate used before placing a bridge or crown. If we use it as a continuation of the implant and abutment for dental bridge or crown, during the possible gum withdrawal, there is no black trace of metal abutment left over the years. This material is very solid and durable, however, it is heavier than other prosthetic substitutes. For this reason, it cannot be used as a prosthesis on 4 implants (all-on-4), but it is necessary to install 6-8 implants for the complete prosthesis. Moreover, although being a very solid material, the zircon used by people who have a stronger bite and night teeth gnashing will probably crack or the crown will be separated from the substrate since the bond between the substrate and the zirconium is exclusively mechanical (gluing) and not chemical as with other materials. Fallen crowns can be customised and returned to their position, whilst the cracked ones must be repaired in the laboratory, which requires a certain amount of time or a complete replacement with new ones.
Ceramics- Ceramic prosthetic substitutes are very strong, with a high aesthetics value, whilst their colour matches natural teeth very well. Their price is lower than that of zircons and are most often used in replacing natural teeth.
Ceramic teeth are used in making crowns, dental bridges and complete prostheses on implants and natural teeth. The ceramics are very easy to process, which gives a very small possibility of mistakes during the manufacture of the prosthetic dental replacement in the laboratory. This guarantees the longevity of your tooth replacements and can be used on a metal, ceramic substrate or on a natural tooth. When placing dental ceramics on implants, metal, titanium or zirconium substrate can be used. In the case of placing a ceramic tooth on a metal or titanium surface, some people may experience gum withdrawal over a long period of time and a black trace on the top of the tooth will appear while using zirconia will avoid that. A complete edentulism and the positioning of a complete ceramic bridge of 12 or 14 teeth requires the installation of 6-8 implants. However, the metal substrate is more affordable and creates a stronger chemical bond with ceramics. When positioning ceramic teeth onto your natural tooth, a strong chemical bond is also created, which is not the case with zirconia, and this dental work will be much harder to separate from the tooth substrate and the price is also more accessible than zircons or glass ceramics.
Composite- Composite is a very elastic material that is aesthetically very good and its structure best matches the natural tooth, with the price being much more acceptable than the zirconium and is in the price range of ceramic prosthetics.
Composite is most commonly used when making prostheses on 4 implants (all-on-4) due to its low weight, durability and elasticity. Many dentists also prefer to use it when making crowns and bridges because it is very easy to process and should subsequent damage occur, it is very easy to upgrade and repair. When positioning this material to the implant, a metal, titanium or zirconium substrate with which the composite forms a very strong bond is also used. The simpler composite is known as a material from which white tooth filling is made, although when it comes to prosthetic work, it is much stronger and has a different chemical composition. When positioning the composite on a natural tooth, a strong chemical bond is also formed and the greatest advantage of this material is that its hardness and elasticity, make it the most similar to the natural tooth and it is uniformly consumed as a tooth. It is also difficult to crack and can easily be repaired, bleached or upgraded.
When choosing, do not forget that everyone has a different bite, jaw and bone, joint and tooth disease. Therefore, the best choice is to talk to your dentist, listen to his/her suggestions, and then make a decision.
Read more about glass ceramics and CAD/CAM technology in our next blog.