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Dental crowns

Dental crowns are permanent tooth covers that are cemented to chipped, cracked or broken teeth to improve their appearance and function.

Are the newer Zirconia dental crowns better and less expensive than the standard $800+ crowns used by most dentists?

Ramin Tabib (New York, NY) on Dec 21, 2011
Zirconia crowns have some clear advantages. There are also other types of ceramic crowns that have clear advantage over older types of crowns. Zirconia is so tough that it can be abrasive when it opposes natural teeth. So use of zirconia needs to be carefully assessed from person to person. It is not a great option for everyone.
Michael Apa (New York, NY) on Dec 21, 2011
The material isn't necessarily better or worse. The most important factors are fit and if the material used is appropriate. Zirconia in the back of the mouth is good, as is gold fused to porcelain. Ceramics are the material of choice for the front of the mouth.
Christopher Baer (Aurora, CO) on Dec 21, 2011
The simple answer to you question is No. Cost should never be the primary factor in trying to determine the best treatment. Would you ask your heart surgeon for the cheaper stent material to place in your artery? Quality dental work costs more money because the quality materials are often more expensive. Zirconia crowns fracture more frequently than some of the other materials. I would ask your dentist which option is best for what they are trying to accomplish for your tooth and your overall oral health.
LaSaundra Estelle (New York, NY) on Dec 21, 2011
The Zirconia crowns are stronger and metal free. The Zirconia crown does not have the "gray effect" at the gums. The Zirconia crowns cost more than the traditional crowns.
Amanda Seay (Mount Pleasant, SC) on Dec 21, 2011
Zirconium is actually not all that new of a material. There are many ceramics out there but each one has specific indications for its use. Most of the ceramics on the market will cost the same. The true cost difference will be the laboratory that you use. Usually...the bigger the lab the less expensive the crown. The more specialized the lab( sometimes there is only one technician) and the more training and artistic skill the technician has the more expensive the price will be. Many times the price difference from a factory type lab to a single master ceramist can be as great as 10 times. Zirconium is a great material if used for the right situation. It is has its benefits but it also has it downfalls. You should speak to your dentist about your specific situation to see what type of ceramic is best suited for you.
Leonard Tau (Philadelphia, PA) on Dec 21, 2011
There are many types of materials used to manufacture crowns. Porcelain, gold, porcelain fused to gold, lithium disilicate (emax) and Zirconia. Zirconia is a newer material that has shown great promise in dentistry. It is better in certain parts of the mouth and not as good in some others. Zirconia is virtually indestructible whereas porcelain can chip. If you have ever seen a front tooth that has a crown on it with a dark line above that is a porcelain fused to metal crown and that is something that is avoided with zirconia as well. This comes at a price though and in most cases zirconia is going to be more expensive than other types of crowns.