What is a Zirconia crown, and how is it different from other crowns?


What is a Zirconia crown, and how is it different from other crowns?

Dentists resort to dental crowns when damage can no longer be solved with fillings. Dental crowns are caps placed on top of affected teeth. They are made of metals, porcelain, resin, and ceramics. Your child may be a candidate for a tooth crown:

  • Protect a weak tooth from breaking or keep it together if it is partially cracked.
  • Restore a broken tooth or worn-down tooth
  • Cover and support a tooth with a large filling
  • Cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth
  • Hold a dental bridge in place
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a tooth with a root canal

There are different types of crowns to choose from, like Zirconia dental crowns, porcelain crowns, ceramic crowns, Emax, porcelain fused to metal crowns, etc.

What is the Zirconia crown made of?

A Zirconia crown is made of zirconium dioxide, a durable ceramic material. A children’s dentist will most likely recommend zirconia crowns if the back teeth are damaged. They need crowns made of a stronger material like zirconia to withstand the pressure and natural wear.

Zirconia crown v/s other crowns.

Dental crowns are often the best treatment plan for decayed or damaged teeth. Extracting baby teeth could lead to complications when permanent teeth arrive. You might wonder about your child’s dental crown choices as a parent. Zirconia dental crowns are gaining immense popularity nowadays as they are much stronger and aesthetically pleasing than most other options. Here are a few comparisons to help you make an informed decision:

Zirconia v/s porcelain crowns

A porcelain crown is made of silica, mica, and Lucite. Here is a brief rundown of the features of porcelain crowns:

  1. They are attractive and require less tooth preparation
  2. Recommended for front teeth that are prone to less pressure
  3. Patients need to be tested for metal sensitivity before fitting the crown
  4. Porcelain crowns are resistant to temperature sensitivity

A Zirconia tooth crown is made of a safe, biocompatible material. They are milled from one single block, a characteristic that makes zirconia crowns very strong and durable dental prosthetics. Zirconia crowns are more compatible with teeth and gums than porcelain crowns, as gum turns gray over time when using porcelain crowns. Zirconia crowns are hence a better aesthetical solution compared to porcelain crowns.

A porcelain crown is less strong, durable, and long-lasting. Zirconia resists pressure forces in the mouth, whereas porcelain crowns are subjected to bending when exposed to pressure.

Zirconia v/s ceramic crowns

Zirconia crowns are stronger than ceramic crowns. Monolithic zirconia is highly resistant to chipping. While Zirconia crowns last longer, ceramic crowns may need greater care against heavy forces.

Zirconia v/s Emax

Zirconia crowns are stronger compared to Emax crowns. Emax crowns are made of Lithium Disilicate ceramic material. This material is not solid as Zirconia and is better suited to enhance your child’s front teeth. Zirconia maintains its anatomical shape and is thinner than other crowns, enabling dentists to save more patients’ natural teeth.

The treatment process with a Zirconia crown is easier compared to Emax dental crown. The Emax must be carved and attached, whereas the Zirconia crown can be cemented quickly.

Zirconia v/s porcelain fused to metal crowns.

There is no metal lining at the gingival margin in zirconia crowns like in porcelain fused to metal crowns. Hence porcelain fused to a metal crown is not ideal if you want a natural-looking smile.

Types of Zirconia crowns

There are two types of zirconia dental crowns: Monolithic and Layered.

Monolithic Zirconia crown has zirconium oxide, which makes the crown unbreakable. Monolithic crowns are suitable for teeth in the rear of the jaw. Monolithic zirconia crowns have fewer chipping, staining, and fracture complications.

Layered Zirconia crowns combine the highest aesthetics and strength to create a treatment option ideal for anterior and posterior cases. Chipping or fracturing is extremely rare in layered Zirconia crowns. The material used in this crown promotes a healthy tissue response.

Zirconia crowns cost

Dental crowns, in general, are expensive and cost somewhere between $800 and $1500. The average cost of a dental crown varies depending on the material used and the preparation techniques involved. The price of Zirconia crowns is understandably higher than other types of crowns as they offer numerous benefits. Zirconia crowns cost anywhere from $1000 to $2500. The cost may vary from one geographic location to another. Where the crown is fixed (front or back) can also influence the price.


Zirconia crowns are an ideal combination of structural and aesthetic qualities, making them a popular choice for dental crowns. Zirconia crowns are now a go-to option for parents who want a naturally-appearing smile for their children. Fixing a zirconia crown may demand a two-day visit to a Carlsbad orthodontist. Before you arrive at a final decision, discuss your child’s dental issue with your orthodontist in Carlsbad to get a clear picture of the best treatment for your child. Your dentist will help you weigh the pros and cons and choose the most appropriate treatment plan.


Dr. Cyrous Sheikh DDD, MS

Captain Floss is a Carlsbad Children’s Dentistry with over 20 years of experience in pediatric and orthodontic dental care.

From regular exams and cleanings to tooth extractions, our board-certified orthodontist in Carlsbad can care for your child’s complex dental needs with kid-friendly tools and equipment. Book an appointment today and visit our clinic to start your kids’ journey toward healthy, beautiful smiles.