For many years there has been increasing patient demands for improved esthetics in dental restorations. This demand has been especially strong in the area of front teeth that require crowns (caps). There have been MANY attempts over the past few decades or more to provide "all ceramic/porcelain" crowns. In other words, a crown that would not have a metal substructure under it. The reasons for wanting to eliminate the metal are primarily to get rid of the dark line at the very edge of the crown and to let more light pass through (to look more lifelike). Generally speaking, all these materials have failed to live up to expectations. Fracturing was the primary problem. Time passes and materials and techniques improve. There now exists NEW all ceramic (not a porcelain) materials that have revolutionized the creation of enamel colored crowns.
2 of these NEW materials are -
Exhibiting superior durability and the most color robust ceramic system to date. The opalescence, translucency and light diffusion properties of lithium disilicate were all designed to replicate natural tooth structure for beauty and undetectable restorations. Although stronger than traditional porcelain crowns, these are best suited for the front teeth where chewing pressures are the least.
Virtually unbreakable and biocompatible. More resistant to chipping, cracking or breaking in the mouth makes zirconia crowns ideal for bruxers and grinders, who have broken their natural teeth or porcelain restorations in the past. Dentists have long relied on full-cast gold and porcelain metal crowns & bridges for long-term durability and strength. But with the introduction of all zirconia restorations an equally strong solution is now available. What's more, when compared side-by-side to full-cast gold and porcelain metal crowns, zirconia crowns are the most natural-looking choice. Although good color can be achieved, these are not an equal to lithium disilicate in this regard. Zirconia works very well on the back molars where strength is required.