Zirconia trade-off between strength and esthetics
Zirconia offers a best balance between strength and esthetics. Due to its less chemical reactivity and high strength to withstand high occlusal forces it is a great choice for posterior crowns and bridges. It is lustrous, translucent and can be veneered with conventional procelain to acheive high esthetic prosthesis. These when used for anterior teeth depict natuaral and beautiful smile. The flexural strength varies between 900-1200 mpa. It reduces cracks and chipping off prosthesis. The design preparation and ultimate thickness of zirconia depends upon the flexural strength used by laboratories, the manufracture’s recommendation. Its biggest advantage is strength and durability. Hence, less tooth preparation can be done. It is biocompatible with a longevity of 5yrs and more with lower chances of infections, discomfort and any allergic reactions.
Zirconia despite being strong is easily malleable and can easily be shaped, size and colored to match patient’s natural teeth. Zirconia’s are resistant to extreme hot and cold temperatures thus reducing the frequency of tooth hypersensitivity. It is especially suited for implant cases with reduced available space.
In short, the trade off is as the translucency increases flexural strength and fracture toughness decreases.