“I don’t want shiny gold teeth in my mouth,” voiced one of many patients that are told gold is the best material. Maybe not anymore, the choice has changed.
When a tooth breaks, dentists have to place a crown on to protect the tooth. In the back of the mouth, gold still is a very popular choice made by dentists. However, some patients refuse to have gold or metal teeth in their mouths.
The reason for gold crowns versus ceramic crowns is that gold stronger. When ceramic is used in the back of the mouth, it may break or chip. Every dentist has seen this problem. Now the technology has introduced the latest dental materials that are strong while aesthetic. These new materials are made out of zirconium, a greyish white metal that is corrosion free and well established as a safe material in dentistry. Under a specialized milling process, a dental crown is custom fabricated for patients. Here is a sample of a tooth custom milled in zirconium. The patient has a heavy bite and refused to have “gold teeth.”
For grinders (bruxers) we no longer need to offer “metal” surfaces like gold as an option. This tooth is built to last – cannot “chip”. This fabricated tooth is made by a USA milling machine that custom cuts and shapes the tooth from a one piece block of a special German produced zirconium material. Hence, it’s strength is high enough to withstand the heavy forces at the back of the mouth for years.
In this case, the milled crown was made on top of an implant. Zirconium is a must in these implant cases. Implant teeth are rigid because the implant is fused to bone and therefore do not move like a natural tooth under pressure. On implant teeth, the impact on ceramic is like hitting glass with a small hammer repeatedly. This leads to breakage and chipping potentially over time. This doesn’t with certain grades of zirconium milled precisely following a proper crown design.