Zirconia, or zirconium dioxide, exhibits characteristics of both metal and ceramic, making it an ideal material for dental restorations. In fact, it is often used as an alloy agent in stainless steel. However, because it is not actually a metal, it remains a perfectly viable option for those with metal allergies. Its exceptional durability is what initially piqued the interest of the prosthodontics community, and increasingly sophisticated engineering techniques have made it possible to use this material to achieve an appearance that is incredibly realistic.
Other materials can approach the lifelike appearance of dental zirconia, but none surpass its strength. Materials such as acrylic and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) are available at a lower price, but when you consider that zirconia is the material most likely to allow you to resume a normal and enjoyable pace of life - as opposed to requiring frequent repairs or having to feel self-conscious about an unattractive appearance - zirconia can be an unequivocally worthwhile investment.
Prettau Zirconia versus Acrylic
Acrylic is the most common and affordable denture material. It can be made to look somewhat realistic, and when the prosthetic is anchored to dental implants, the patient can experience a restored ability to chew and enunciate properly. However, acrylic has significant downsides that compelled prosthodontists to start looking beyond this popular yet imperfect material.
In addition to having only passable aesthetic qualities, acrylic dentures stain quickly and easily. The pontics (prosthetic teeth) as well as the gum-colored base become gradually discolored with every meal, snack, and beverage the patient consumes. Meanwhile, acrylic is the most malleable material used in prosthodontics. This “give” occurs each time the user chews or bites, taking a significant toll on the prosthetic. Due to these shortcomings, acrylic dentures may need to be replaced as often as every three years.
Prettau Zirconia provides a superior alternative in every respect. This option is still relatively new, but due to its exceptional strength, it is expected that with proper care, a Prettau Zirconia bridge from TeethTomorrow could last the rest of your life.
Prettau Zirconia versus PFM
PFM dentures are the result of a transitional period in which prosthodontists were searching for a solution that would provide improved durability and aesthetics over acrylic dentures. These restorations consist of a metal core covered by a thin layer of porcelain. Although the combination of porcelain and metal certainly provides better strength than acrylic, there are significant drawbacks to this design. Perhaps most notably, they are not usually suitable for those with metal allergies.
The aesthetic drawbacks of PFM dentures are vast. Like acrylic, a porcelain dental restoration with a metal core is not translucent. In other words, light cannot penetrate the restoration, which makes the pontics look clearly artificial. In most cases, the grey hue of the metal beneath the porcelain shows through, further adding to an unnatural and unattractive appearance.
In recent years, prosthodontists have learned how to incorporate a highly lifelike translucency into zirconia restorations, and each Prettau Zirconia bridge is carefully crafted by master technicians to exhibit a remarkably natural appearance.
Prettau Zirconia versus All-Porcelain
All-porcelain dentures provide a significant advantage over acrylic and PFM dentures in terms of aesthetics. This is largely due to the fact that like natural teeth, all-porcelain restorations can be made translucent, giving them a far more realistic appearance. In fact, all-porcelain restorations can be made to look virtually identical to a natural tooth.
However, the fundamental disadvantage of an all-porcelain restoration is its lack of durability. While all-porcelain restorations are commonly called “permanent,” the truth is that these restorations typically last less than 10 years, and only approach that lifespan when the user takes impeccable care of their denture. The porcelain used in dentistry applications is more susceptible to chips, cracks, and fractures than Prettau Zirconia.
In short, while Prettau Zirconia can be made to exhibit the same delicate beauty as an all-porcelain restoration, it also possesses a rugged industrial-grade strength that allows it to provide function, comfort, and confidence long after an all-porcelain restoration has failed.
Prettau Zirconia versus e.max
e.max® restorations consist of lithium disilicate, a glass-ceramic that has been shown to exhibit strength three times greater than that of other glass-ceramics. Meanwhile, these restorations can be made to look incredibly lifelike, giving patients an option that not only looks beautiful, but can also withstand the pressures of biting and chewing.
However, zirconia exhibits more than double the durability of e.max. The amount of physical pressure and stress that these materials can withstand is measured in megapascals (MPa). According to Spear® Education, a provider of continuing education to dental health professionals, e.max is able to withstand about 360 MPa. Zirconia, on the other hand, has the capacity to withstand about 900 MPa.
On average, an adult male has a bite force of about 175 pounds, which is equal to roughly 1.2 MPa. At a glance, this may make both e.max and Prettau Zirconia look like they offer far more durability than anyone could possibly need, but it is very important to remember that a denture must stand up to far more than a strong bite. If you lead an active lifestyle playing contact sports, or if you work in a profession such as law enforcement, emergency response, or the military, you likely face a risk of facial trauma on a daily basis. The exceptional strength of Prettau Zirconia can help ensure that you not only experience minimal wear due to normal daily functions, but also have added reinforcement in the event of an unexpected impact.
While it is true that a denture made of Prettau Zirconia costs more than a denture made from e.max, the difference is negligible. Meanwhile, Prettau Zirconia provides more than double the capability to withstand bite pressure and trauma. If you value both exceptional aesthetics and durability, you stand to experience the most satisfying and long-lasting benefits by choosing a denture made of Prettau Zirconia.
The Real Cost of Dentures: Dollars, Cents, and Beyond
Most insurance plans will contribute to the cost of dentures. Even when choosing a premium material like Prettau Zirconia, an insured patient can expect that at least a portion of this expense will be covered. Dental implants, on the other hand, are widely considered elective, meaning that under most plans, coverage will be minimal, if any coverage is offered at all.
By now, most patients suffering from missing teeth are aware of the many benefits of choosing dental implants. They give your dentures the ability to function as reliably as natural teeth, they are the one and only restorative solution that can prevent the jaw from experiencing atrophy (shrinkage) after teeth have been lost, and they can last the rest of your life if you are willing to take proper care of them. Considering that placing a single implant can cost about $1,600, and that a full-arch denture typically requires about six implants, patients may find themselves wondering: Why not invest in dental implants, then compromise when it comes to the aesthetics and durability of my denture, which could result in a less substantial out-of-pocket expense?
As many denture wearers can tell you, the justification of the added expense comes down to far greater benefits than bargain hunting can provide. Whether you are 18 or 68, you have many meals, family gatherings, vacations, friendships, and opportunities ahead of you. Your smile is going to play an important role in all of them.
First, consider the role your smile plays in your appearance. Your propensity to smile can make a profound impression on others. But if you constantly feel self-conscious about stained or obviously artificial dentures, it is entirely possible that you may seem withdrawn or disinterested. On the other hand, the bright, natural-looking smile you can experience with a Prettau Zirconia bridge can help you exude personality, allowing you to enjoy your relationships to the fullest while cultivating new friendships.
Next, patients must consider the value of their time. Life is short, and acquiring new dentures is far more involved than buying a new pair of shoes. Your dentist must take impressions of your smile, it can take weeks for technicians to create your dentures, and attaching your new restoration will require a second appointment. Those who choose an inferior option such as acrylic dentures can expect to have to undergo this process every few years, if not more frequently. Over time, this amounts to many hours in the dentist’s chair and many weeks of making do with a temporary set of dentures. Of course, each of these replacement processes will incur a cost.
Meanwhile, consider how hard you work and save for vacations. Should your denture fail while while you are away enjoying your very limited and very expensive time off, you may find yourself squandering this time in search of a dentist and waiting for a replacement denture.
By making an initial monetary investment that you are willing to maintain with a minimal investment of time each day, you can stop worrying about your smile and start focusing on everything else that affects your quality of life.
When you choose to invest in a Prettau Zirconia bridge by TeethTomorrow, you can rest assured that by practicing proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist biannually, you may never need to have your denture replaced. In essence, by making an initial monetary investment that you are willing to maintain with a minimal investment of time each day, you can stop worrying about your smile and start focusing on everything else that affects your quality of life.
The price of an implant-supported Prettau Zirconia bridge is considerable for most patients, but it is important to remember that TeethTomorrow is absolutely willing to work with you to determine a payment plan that places this solution within your budget. In fact, we offer free consultations that allow you to make a fully informed decision before committing.
There Is No Need to Compromise
When it comes to your smile and your quality of life, there is no reason to compromise by choosing a fragile or unattractive denture. If you are suffering with missing or severely damaged or decayed teeth, it is absolutely worth your time to explore the option of a custom Prettau Zirconia bridge by TeethTomorrow. No other option provides the comfort, function, and confidence that you can expect to experience with this advanced solution.