Zirconia: The Pros and Cons
Consider the Advantages…
Since Zirconia possesses incredible strength, bridge frameworks are milled from a solid block of monolithic Zirconia, there is no need for an underlying metal framework or substructure for support that may show through the final restoration. Even with recession, there are no visible dark lines around crown margins.
…and Disadvantages of the Zirconia Crown Material
Milled monolithic Zirconia is a fairly opaque material. This is an esthetic problem. While it hides tooth discoloration and large core build-ups well, it lacks the translucent and refractory properties that make it appear natural and lifelike. Manufacturers have developed a translucent version of Zirconia that is custom stained and sintered (baked) at high temperatures onto the monolithic Zirconia layer in order to allow esthetic crowns to be produced. Once processed, this translucent version closely mimics the translucence of natural teeth at the slight expense of the material’s strength.
The biggest disadvantage of Zirconia crowns resides in their strength – ironically the best feature. Should it ever become necessary to create an endodontic access or to cut the crown off, it will be a difficult process.