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.
- 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.
- If you grind your teeth, you are less likely to break your crown.
- 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.
- 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