Zirconia Crowns: Benefits, Disadvantages, Costs, And More

If you're looking for a way to improve the look of your smile, zirconia crowns may be just what you need. Strong and long-lasting, learn more about how they can give you a perfect smile!

9 min readZirconia Crowns: Benefits, Disadvantages, Costs, and More

When it comes to dental restorations, durability is key. After all, you don't want to invest time and money into a dental crown that's going to break or wear down quickly.

That's where zirconia crowns come in - they're like the superheroes of dental restorations, with strength and durability that can withstand even the toughest challenges. Just like Superman can withstand bullets and bombs, zirconia crowns can withstand the forces of chewing and biting, providing a long-lasting solution to dental damage.

In this article, we'll explore everything about zirconia crowns and why they're such a popular choice for those seeking a strong and durable dental restoration.

What Is A Zirconia Crown? A Quick Look

Zirconia dental crowns are a type of dental procedure that can completely transform the look and feel of a damaged or decayed tooth. Made from a material called zirconium dioxide, these crowns are known for their extraordinary strength and durability.

But zirconia crowns aren't just strong - they're also incredibly versatile. They can be made to match the qualities of your natural teeth, blending seamlessly into your smile. Plus, because they're made from a biocompatible material, zirconia crowns are safe and reliable if you’re someone who has allergies to other types of dental materials.

One of the most exciting things about zirconia crowns is that they can be used for both front and back teeth. That means whether you're looking to restore a damaged molar or enhance a front tooth, zirconia crowns can provide a long-lasting and natural-looking solution.

So, whether you're looking to restore a tooth after an injury, fix a cavity, or improve the look of your overall smile, zirconia dental crowns are a top option to consider.

Reasons To Get A Zirconia Crown

While we’ve mentioned in summary the qualities that make zirconia crowns an absolute joy in the dental world, let’s go into a little more detail:

  • Exceptional Strength and Durability: Zirconia crowns are incredibly tough, making them an excellent choice for those who need something that’ll last. They can withstand the forces of chewing and biting without chipping or cracking, and they're less likely to wear down over time. This means that once you get a zirconia crown, you can expect it to last for many years.
  • Natural-Looking Appearance: Unlike gold tooth crowns, Zirconia crowns are known for their natural-looking appearance. Because they’ll be modeled off the exact shade and shape of your natural teeth, they blend seamlessly into your smile. This means that no one will be able to tell that you've had dental work done if you get the proper crown color - your smile will look as natural as ever!
  • Biocompatibility: Zirconia is biocompatible, meaning that it's safe for use in the human body. This makes them a great option for people with allergies or teeth sensitivities to other types of dental materials. Because zirconia is a metal-free material, they’re perfect for those allergic to metal.
  • Easier Prep: Compared to other types of dental crowns, zirconia crowns require minimal removal of tooth structure during preparation. This means more of your natural tooth can be preserved, leading to a stronger and healthier tooth overall.
  • Versatility: Zirconia crowns can be used for both front and back teeth, so they’re a versatile option for a variety of dental needs. They can be used to restore a damaged tooth, cover a dental implant, or even fix an oddly shaped or discolored tooth.
  • Stain Resistance: Zirconia crowns are highly resistant to staining and discoloration, meaning they'll maintain their natural-looking appearance over time. That’s good news for people who enjoy foods and drinks that can stain natural teeth.

Types Of Zirconia Used On Crowns

There are three types of zirconia crowns: full-contour zirconia, full-contour all-translucent, and porcelain-fused-to-zirconia crowns.

Full-contour zirconia is tough and strong, which makes it an excellent choice for molars or other teeth that require a lot of chewing action. The downside is that it isn’t opaque, meaning that it's not very translucent or light-transmitting, which can sometimes make it difficult to achieve a natural-looking appearance. That’s why they’re most commonly used for back teeth - hidden away from prying eyes.

All-translucent zirconia, on the other hand, is like the cool kid on the block.

Crowns made out of this material have a more natural-looking appearance than traditional zirconia because it allows some light to pass through it, giving it a more lifelike appearance. It’s still durable, but the translucency means it’s more suitable for dental restorations in visible areas of the mouth, such as front teeth.

Porcelain-fused-to-zirconia is a little different than the two. They’re constructed by fusing a thin layer of porcelain to a zirconia base - combining a natural look with a strong base.

Your dentist will be able to help guide you in making the best decision for your individual mouth, taking into account factors such as the location of the restoration, your bite force, and your personal preferences for appearance.

Benefits Of Zirconia Crowns

Let’s discover the many benefits of zirconia crowns:

Strength And Durability

We’ve mentioned the durability of zirconia crowns quite a few times already, and for good reason. Since the purpose of a crown is to protect and strengthen a weakened tooth, it needs to be strong enough to withstand the forces of chewing and grinding.

Zirconia crowns are incredibly strong – they’re the strongest ceramic material available for dental work. It boasts the highest maximum stress, maximum strain, elastic modulus, and hardness compared to all other dental restorative materials.

Out of all the options, monolithic (full-contour) zirconia is said to be the least likely to crack from high bite forces, making them an ideal choice for those who want their dental restoration to last.

But of course, results will vary depending on the individual and other factors such as oral hygiene, diet, biology, and more. For instance, a comprehensive review found that one study reported a 3-year survival rate of 93% while another found a 2-year survival rate of 90% - it all depends on the circumstances!


Zirconia crowns last so long primarily because of the material they're made of - zirconium dioxide. These crowns can last between 10 to 15 years or longer with proper care and oral hygiene practices. This is compared to porcelain-fused-to-metal options, which last between 5 to 15 years.


When we have to undergo dental procedures, not only do we want something that's strong and durable, but we also want something that's biocompatible - meaning it won't cause any harm or irritation to the body.

Zirconia is a biocompatible material, which means that it's safe to use in the human body. In fact, zirconia has been used in other medical applications, such as artificial joints, for many years. When used in dental restorations, zirconia crowns don't cause any adverse reactions or allergies in the body, which can be a concern with other materials like metal.

Same-Day Procedure

If one of your concerns about getting a crown is making multiple trips to the dentist, you can say goodbye to that hassle with zirconia crowns.

One of the best things about zirconia crowns is that they can often be done as a same-day procedure using CAD/CAM technology. Your dentist can create your crown right in the office without the need for messy impressions or temporary crowns. Using the digital model of your tooth, the zirconia is then milled into the right shape and size.

Instead of making multiple appointments and dealing with the inconvenience of temporary crowns, you can get your zirconia crown done in just one visit. Sit back, relax, and let the technology do the work!


One of the key benefits of zirconia crowns is that they are metal-free, which means they don’t contain any metals like traditional crowns do.

The metal-free nature of zirconia crowns is a big plus for several reasons. Some patients may be allergic to metals commonly used in dental crowns, such as nickel or chromium. Zirconia crowns get rid of the risk of allergic reactions and sensitivities, particularly in those with metal allergies.

Metal-free crowns are also less likely to cause gum irritation or inflammation.

Traditional metal ones can sometimes irritate the gums and cause inflammation, which can lead to tooth crown pain and even gum disease over time.


Zirconia crowns are dental superstars that are both strong and stylish. They’re incredibly aesthetically pleasing, allowing people to make use of this durable material without sacrificing their natural-looking teeth. Unlike some other types of crowns that can look obvious and out of place, zirconia crowns blend in seamlessly with your existing teeth, giving you a smile that looks both healthy and beautiful.

Another great thing about zirconia crowns is that they can be customized to match the exact shade, shape, and size of your natural teeth. This means that your dentist can create a crown that looks like it has always been a part of your smile rather than something that was added in later. Plus, because zirconia is a white material, it won't discolor over time like some other materials, so your smile will stay bright and beautiful.

Issues with Zirconia Crowns

While there’s tons of praise for zirconia crowns, nothing’s perfect. Here are some issues that you may want to take note of as well:

Opaque Appearance

One potential downside is that they can sometimes have an opaque or chalky appearance. As zirconia is an extremely hard and dense material, it can be hard to achieve the translucency and natural-looking appearance of a real tooth.

In some cases, the opaque appearance of a zirconia crown can be dealt with by adding layers of porcelain or other materials to improve the overall look. But keep in mind this can increase the cost and complexity of the procedure, as well as potentially affect the crown’s durability.

Tooth Reduction

Getting a crown may require some tooth reduction. This means that a small amount of your natural tooth structure may need to be removed in order to accommodate the crown.

While this may sound scary, it’s a routine part of any crown placement process and is done to ensure that the crown fits properly and functions well. Your dentist will carefully assess your teeth and determine the amount of reduction required to achieve the best results.


Let’s get to the hard-hitting stuff. Zirconia crowns can be more expensive than other types of crowns, which can be a downside for some patients. But, like anything, keep in mind that the cost of a dental procedure often reflects the quality of the materials used and the dentist’s expertise.

Think of it like buying a fancy new car – you wouldn't expect a luxury car to cost the same as a budget vehicle, right? Similarly, zirconia crowns are a premium option that offers a high level of strength, durability, and aesthetics.

And while the upfront cost of a zirconia crown may be higher, consider the long-term benefits. You’ll likely end up saving money in the long run by avoiding the need for frequent replacements or repairs!

Zirconia Crown Cost

As mentioned, if you’re looking for quality and longevity, zirconia crowns are the way to go. While other types of dental crowns cost between $800 and $1,500, zirconia crowns take it up a notch and are priced between $1,000 to $2,500.

Just like other dental procedures, the price can vary depending on where you’re located and the prices at your dental office.

Crowns may or may not be covered by insurance, so before diving head-first into a crown procedure, check to see whether you’re covered!

How Long Do Zirconia Crowns Last

Thanks to their extremely high maximum stress, elastic modulus, hardness, and maximum strain, zirconia crowns typically last longer than other types of crowns. They tend to last between 10 - 15 years or even longer with optimal care.

Wrapping Up

If you're due for a crown replacement or want to upgrade your smile with a more natural-looking material, zirconia crowns are an excellent choice. They're the strongest of them all, aesthetically pleasing, and require fewer dental visits than traditional crowns. And not only that - they last for years! So what are you waiting for? Get ready to show off that dazzling new smile with zirconia crowns!

If you’re looking for more information on zirconia crowns, read on for some answers to frequently asked questions.

Do Zirconia Crowns Stain?

Zirconia crowns are non-porous and highly resistant to staining, so you can keep your dazzling smile without worrying about discoloration.

Are Zirconia Crowns Toxic?

Zirconia is non-toxic - it’s a biocompatible, hypoallergenic material that has been approved for use in many medical and dental applications.

Are Zirconia Crowns More Expensive Than Porcelain?

In most cases, yes. Zirconia is a high-quality material that requires specialized equipment for manufacturing, which makes it more expensive than other types of crowns.

How Is A Zirconia Crown Cemented?

Zirconia crowns are cemented with a special composite bonding agent that helps to ensure the crown stays in place. The process is similar to that of traditional ceramic crowns, where the dentist uses a special light to harden the bonding agent.

What Is A Zirconia Crown Made Of?

They’re made from a type of ceramic material known as zirconium dioxide. This high-grade material is extremely strong and can handle the wear and tear of daily life.

Are Zirconia Crowns Good For Front Teeth?

Zirconia crowns can be a great option for front teeth because of their superior strength and natural-looking appearance. The material is also less likely to chip or break than traditional ceramic crowns.

However, those who choose full-contour zirconia should bear in mind that the material isn’t opaque, which may result in a more unnatural look for front teeth versus back teeth.

Are Zirconia Crowns Metal?

No. Zirconia is a ceramic material that is composed of zirconium dioxide. It contains no metal and won't cause any allergic reactions or discoloration like metal crowns can.

Are Zirconia Crowns Safe?

Zirconia crowns are biocompatible and safe for your mouth. They are also extremely durable, making them an ideal long-term solution for restoring damaged teeth or improving your smile.

Can You Remove A Zirconia Crown?

If absolutely necessary, zirconia crowns can be removed by a trained dentist. However, it’s important to note that the process of removing and replacing the crown is more involved than with traditional ceramic crowns - it’s nearly impossible to do without altering your tooth.

Can You Repair A Zirconia Crown?

Yes, it’s possible to repair a zirconia crown in some cases. The complexity of the repair will depend on the severity of the damage and should only be done by a qualified professional.

Can You Whiten A Zirconia Crown?

Whitening solutions won’t work on any sort of veneers, crowns, or dentures as their non-porous structure won’t be affected by the chemicals in whitening products. Luckily, this means that they aren’t prone to staining either!

Do Zirconia Crowns Break?

No, zirconia is extremely durable and resistant to breakage. In fact, it’s the strongest material available for dental crowns. But, like any other material, there’s still a possibility that it will crack or chip if exposed to extreme force or trauma.

Do Zirconia Crowns Change Color?

Just like most crowns, zirconia crowns won’t change color. If you regularly consume a lot of dark-colored foods and liquids, though, you’ll want to make sure you’re brushing your teeth afterward to prevent long-term staining.

Do Zirconia Crowns Look Natural?

Yes. The material is incredibly strong and durable, but it also looks incredibly natural. Using a CAD/CAM system, your dentist will be able to craft a crown that matches your existing teeth in both shape and color, giving you a beautiful and natural-looking smile.

Do Zirconia Crowns Smell?

Zirconia crowns do not have any smell or taste, unlike metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, which can give off a metallic odor and taste.

Does Insurance Cover Zirconia Crowns?

It depends on your individual insurance plan. Some plans may cover the cost of zirconia crowns, while others may not. It’s always best to check with your provider before making any decisions about treatment.

Can You Adjust Zirconia Crowns?

Because of their extremely high strength, zirconia crowns are difficult to manipulate after the procedure is done. If it’s an adjustment that has to be done, a dental professional who installed the crown for you can use instruments specifically designed for the material.

How Do You Care For Zirconia Crowns?

Caring for zirconia crowns is similar to caring for your natural teeth. You’ll want to brush twice a day, floss regularly, and visit the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. Additionally, you should avoid eating hard foods like candy or ice that may chip or break the crown and opt for softer options instead.

How Do You Clean Zirconia Crowns?

Just like your natural teeth, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush twice a day. Additionally, you can rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to help reduce plaque buildup and keep the crowns looking their best.

How Do You Keep Zirconia Crowns White?

Since zirconia is stain-resistant, it won't discolor like other materials. If you want to keep your smile looking its brightest, you can still try to stay away from foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee or red wine.

Are Zirconia Crowns Permanent?

Zirconia crowns are designed to last for years and can even outlast traditional ceramic crowns! Their durability eliminates the need for regular replacements like with other crowns.