Ramsey Amin DDS Reviews Solid Zirconia Custom Dental Implant Crowns and Abutments Instead of Metal

broken crown

There has been quite the evolution in dental implant crown material options. Solid zirconia (not zirconium) is beginning to phase out older methods. Traditional porcelain overlaid over metal used to be the only really good option for your back teeth. For back teeth, a custom abutment is not as commonly needed as it is for front dental implants because the gums are usually flatter, and, often, the gumline shape can be built with the bottom of a custom crown.

One of the most common dental implant complications is one you probably would think of– broken implant crowns and bridges! Most of my patients fear pain, infection and “rejection” of the dental implant, but those are less common. In the thousands of dental implants and crowns that I have placed or consulted on, porcelain crown fracture is common.

This is because the bite on dental implants is often stronger than your own natural teeth! There are no shock-absorbing ligaments. Nothing is indestructible; but solid, monolithic zirconia crowns are close to it!

“BruxZir®” is one brand of solid dental implant crowns. There are also other good options.

Benefits

  • Resistant to chipping because it is made of solid zirconia with no porcelain overlay.
  • Designed and milled using CAD/CAM technology, solid zirconia is sintered for 6.5 hours at 1,530 degrees Celsius. The final tooth emerges nearly chip-proof and is glazed to a smooth surface.
  • A good alternative to gold and silver metal for short teeth.
  • Custom abutments can be made using zirconia.
  • They look white on an x-ray.
  • They are not see through, so metal posts and implants can be blocked.
  • Does not cost more than other types of crowns.

Disadvantages

  • They have more brawn than beauty. They are a bit opaque so I don’t use them typically in the front of the mouth…UNLESS it is a PRETTAU FULL MOUTH DENTAL IMPLANT BRIDGE (these look amazing)  They are not as clear and pretty as other materials I use, such as e.max® or feldspathic veneer porcelain.
  • They are hard to remove when you get a cavity under your crown or the crown has to be changed for a different reason.

 

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Burbank, CA


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11 thoughts on “Ramsey Amin DDS Reviews Solid Zirconia Custom Dental Implant Crowns and Abutments Instead of Metal

  1. Marie

    I recently had 6 front teeth crowned with solid zirconia. My dentist said he chose that because my teeth were dark from Previous root canal treatments in 5 of the 6 teeth. I am interested in having them redone soon but am worried about the trauma this would cause to my teeth. Would I be able to find a dentist who would be willing to remove the zirconia crowns? I’m scared because I’ve read it takes a long time and effort and trauma to remove these. I worry I’m stuck with these now.

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      hello Marie

      Removing zirconia crowns will not be a problem. It just takes a lot longer to do but they will come off. Typically I will split the crown into pieces rather than try to pry it off. This will protect the tooth underneath.

      Take care

      Ramsey Amin DDS

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    Hi Dr. Amin,

    I was wondering if custom zirconium implants are available. I have heard of the CeraRoot brand only. Also, is there any word of the availability of a two piece zirconium implant?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      its funny you ask about this…. My next blog post will be on this topic exactly. Please keep an eye out for it. In short, I would not recommend that you use zirconia for the actual implant screw with a goes into the bone. It is an excellent material for an abutment or a crown.

      Reply
  3. Gill Tindale

    My dentist is wanting to grind my ceramic implant (crown) as it is a food trap.
    I am worried that it will now be able to be polished super smooth again after this?
    As the tooth has been made way bigger than any other tooth in my mouth (second to back tooth), and has caused massive food traps, do you think it is reasonable for me to ask them to remake it?

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Hello Gill,

      Some materials and some dentists polish better than others. I would give it a try to see what the outcome is after trying to adjust the current crown.

      Most of the crowns I make in my office or designed through a computer 3-D program. This allows me to perfectly sized tooth based on proportions and known dimensions. After the design is complete and approved by me, the teeth are milled through a type of robotic CAD machine. The fit and sizing of these are excellent.

      11 Considerations for Full Porcelain Dental Implant Crown Materials –Review by Burbank’s Ramsey Amin, DDS

      Very respectfully,

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      Reply
  4. RJ Anderson

    So if I’m getting work done on just uppers, optimal would be porcelain for teeth #6,7,8,9,10,11 and solid zirconia for the rest? Or is there a better option?

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Hi RJ,

      That combination of materials works well for dental implants and crowns.

      Beauty for the front and strength in the back! This is something I commonly do but every situation is VERY different.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      Reply
      1. Sonia

        Hi. Thank you for your article. Four questions:

        1. For a single dental implant for a Molar what crown material would you prefer: Solid zirconia or Traditional porcelain overlaid over metal crown? Is there any other better material option specifically for a mid-back Molar tooth implant?

        2. I’m concerned about cavity developing or other most likely disadvantages for Molar implants. How does cavity develop with implants teeth? Also do implants cause gum issues over time?

        Why are Solid zirconia hard to remove as apposed to other crown materials, when you get a cavity under your crown or if the crown has to be changed for a different reason?

        3. What is your preferred implant type/brand for back single Molar implants? For example, what do you think of the Blue Sky Bio implants?

        4. What are the long-term success of Molar single tooth implants in terms of years? should everything be looked after and fine…

        thank you so much Dr.

        Reply
        1. Ramsey Amin DDS

          Hello Sonia,
          1. As of 2014, I would suggest solid monolithic zirconia as the material choice for a single or multiple unit dental implant in the molar region
          2. A cavity cannot develop in a dental implant. It is made of titanium. You may be confused with peri-implantitis. Solid zirconia is just more difficult for the dentist to remove if it has to be replaced but that is not really a big deal in my opinion.
          3. Dental implants manufactured in Europe and the United States are generally the best. Keep in mind that the dental implant is essentially titanium screw. Most important thing is the skill of the dentist who is placing your implant.
          4. Single-tooth molar dental implants are extremely successful when placed in adequate bone volume and density. They can last from 15-40 years. They are far more predictable than a root canal molar tooth.

          How to Choose an Implant Dentist

          Dental Implant or Root Canal – Cost and Value Comparison

          I hope this helps you,

          Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
          Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
          Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry
          Burbank, California

          Reply
  5. sandy

    Very interesting and well written article. It is nice to know there are options. My dentist made me an ugly one with a black line. It seems it is more about the dentist doing the work than it is the crown.

    Reply