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"Z FOR ZIRCONIA" IN DENTISTRY



Zirconia, the 20th most abundant element in the earth crust has attracted attention among dental community over the past decade.

Zirconia in dentistry:
The superior aesthetic and mechanical properties has been instrumental in the introduction of zirconia over late 2000's in the field of dentistry. The internal molecular structure of zirconia allows them to be extremely smooth, biocompatible (biologically inert with the host in its intended applications). Hence, it was just "a piece of cake" for zirconia to accomplish itself as a most promising dental restorative material.

    Zirconia in dentistry is used as,
  • Root canal posts:
    Zirconia post is a component that are placed within the root canals to add retention to Dental crowns.
  • Dental implant:
    Dental implant is a component that are surgically placed within jawbone to restore a lost tooth.
    Zirconia implants and abutments have opacity that resembles the natural tooth and have higher biocompatibility providing excellent osseointegration. Zirconia implants are new and emerging in the implant arena.
  • Fixed prosthetic framework:
    Zirconia crowns provide an excellent alternative to traditional PFM crowns (porcelain fused metal).
    • Zirconia veneered with porcelain gives a natural tooth like appearance.
    • Compete with metal prosthesis in withstanding chewing forces.
    • Good soft tissue response and lack of metal allows zero darkness around the GUM margin.


Other zirconia creations which are worth to mention:
Cubic zirconia has more than 40 years of its application in the manufacture of imitation Diamond jewellery.
But, well... The element gained its recognition in the medical community when it was used in the manufacture of hip prosthesis in 1969. Yttria stabilised zirconia supports the growth of blood vessels when used in hip and knee joints orthopaedic replacement. It's compounds (zr phosphate) are used as catalyst in kidney dialysis.
This highly versatile material Zirconia, still continues to be the one of the subject of ongoing research among healthcare industry.

    References:
  • R.Adam's "Review of zirconium"
  • W.B.Blumenthal, "Zirconium and zirconium compounds "