Not All Crowns Are Created EqualWhen you are trying to decide on a dentist in Orange County to perform your restorative or cosmetic dentistry, you might talk to several dentists and get quotes. Maybe you notice that the quotes are significantly different for what seems to be the same service.

However, there is usually a good explanation for the difference between the quotes. First, the dentists are different. They have different levels of training, experience, and talent. As a result, they deliver different quality results, and a dentist who delivers higher quality results might be expected to charge more.

And another important difference might be the materials that the dentists use. Some materials are higher quality and more attractive–and more durable–than others. A recent study of two brands of zirconia crowns and bridges highlights how significant that difference can be.

Both Brands Are Adequate

For this study, researchers manufactured dental crowns and bridges of zirconia, an advanced ceramic strong enough for metal-free dental implants. They made 16 crowns and 16 bridges of BruxZir zirconia and the same number of inCoris TZI crowns and bridges. They then subjected these crowns and bridges to test forces. The restorations were placed in a machine where they “chewed” on steatite agonist balls for 1.2 million cycles. They bit down with a force of about 50 Newtons, plenty to chew even the hardest foods.

How does this compare with normal chewing situations? Well, the steatite agonist balls are a bit harder than anything you’d normally be eating. They have a hardness of at least 7 on the Mohs scale, whereas relatively hard foods like rock candy have a hardness of 2 or less. This means that the restorations were hitting up against materials that would put them under greater stress and worse wear conditions than normal foods. As far as the cycles go, 1.2 million is a good estimate for the number of times you’d chew in a year.

All restorations survived these testing conditions.

But They Weren’t Equal

However, when seeing the effects of these tests on the different brands, they found out that they didn’t perform exactly the same. BruxZir restorations had less wear and greater fracture strength after the test than the inCoris TZI.

On average, the Bruxzir restorations had lost about 1.3 mm3 while the inCoris TZI restorations had lost about 1.5 mm3 due to wear, a 13% difference that was statistically significant. At the same time, the BruxZir restorations had a fracture strength of about 4500 N (newtons) after testing compared to about 3500 N for the inCoris TZI, making the BruxZir restorations about 29% stronger, also statistically significant. For comparison, most people can’t produce more than 1000 N in bite force, even when bruxing (clenching and grinding teeth).

Again, both restorations were adequate for the task of chewing, but one was positioned to last much longer under wear conditions and to stand up to stronger forces over the long term.

Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting

When you are looking for a dentist in Orange County, make sure that you understand the reasons why one dentist’s quote might be different from another. The materials used do make a difference. As does the expertise of the dentist. Never make a decision on cost alone, because you may be setting yourself up for restorations that may fit worse, wear quickly, and fail early.

To learn more about the quality dentistry we offer at Rice Dentistry in Irvine, please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment.