Can Zirconia Dental Crowns Crack?

A dental crown is an artificial tooth that is designed to cover a natural tooth. The purpose of a dental crown is to strengthen a natural tooth that needs repair but that does not have enough healthy tooth to fix with a dental filling. Dental crowns are an effective treatment for strengthening or repairing a fractured, cracked or broken natural tooth. Recently, zirconia dental crowns have become the most popular type of dental crown. This popularity is in part due to the fact that zirconia crowns are incredibly durable and can last for decades. But can zirconia crowns crack or fracture? Here is more information on the durability of zirconia dental crowns.

What is a Zirconia Crown?

Zirconia dental crowns are made from zirconia dioxide, which is a material that is a derivative of metal. Zirconia crowns were first used in dental technology in 2010 and their use has become increasingly popular since. The once popular porcelain dental crowns have a metal frame with porcelain covering on top. Zirconia crowns don’t need a metal frame for stability, which means they offer a more aesthetically pleasing result. Zirconia crowns are also more reliable because they are resistant to wear and more difficult to crack.

How Long Do Zirconia Crowns Last?

Zirconia crowns are durable and incredibly strong. This strength means they are resistant to fractures. Many dental providers believe that zirconia crowns are the strongest non-metallic type of crown. On average a dental crown can be expected to last 10 years. With daily brushing and flossing and regular dental check-ups a zirconia crown can last several decades.

Can Zirconia Crowns Crack?

One of the biggest benefits of zirconia is the strength of the material. However, zirconia crowns can still fracture. While it is unlikely, a zirconia crown can fracture if there are issues with the manufacturing or handling of the crown. Here are some common causes of zirconia crown factures:

  • Poor design: If the wrong crown measurements are sent to the lab, it can cause fit issues later that may result in fracture. Another possible issue is when a lesser quality zirconia material is used to make the crown. Lastly, if the provider leaves sharp corners or edges on the natural tooth when they place the crown on top, it can create a point of contact or friction between the natural tooth and the crown.
  • Poor material handling: Often fractures can result from poor material handling in the dental lab where the crown is being made. Additionally, the provider can cause a fracture with poor handling during installation by drilling on the crown while trying to adjust the fit.
  • Poorly made crown: The most common reason a zirconia crown ends up fracturing is because it has been made too thin which has a big impact on its strength.

It is possible for zirconia crowns to fracture, but it is very rare. However, it is important that you find a dental provider that is skilled with dental restorations and uses a high quality lab for their dental crowns. If you are supposed to have a dental crown treatment, have a conversation with your provider today about zirconia dental crowns.

Advantages of Zirconia Crowns?