anonymous

At face value your question seems to ask if a zirconia crown is better than an all-metal (gold) one. But we can also see how you might be asking if a zirconia crown is better than a porcelain-fused-to-metal one.

(It also needs to be mentioned that you don't state what type of zirconia crown construction is involved, which would be a factor too.)

In general terms:

Are zirconia crowns better than all-metal (gold) ones?
No, not better. Possibly a zirconia crown is a near equal.

Gold crowns have an over 100 year track record proving they are lasting and reliable restorations. Gold crowns probably cause less wear of opposing teeth (the teeth that bite against it). Having an all-metal construction, restoration fracture is not an issue.

In comparison, zirconia crowns have only been around since the 2000's. And they likely cause more opposing tooth wear than gold. While some forms of zirconia crown construction are very strong (monolithic), as compared to metal, the potential for fracture exists. Although with proper crown design [read thickness on the chewing surface] and using an appropriate type of zirconia, this risk should be minimal.

Are zirconia crowns better than porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) ones?
Possibly. As an advantage, PFM's have a track record dating back to the 1960's and are a tried and proven type of restoration.

However, considering a zirconia crown (especially monolithic construction) as an alternative is a strong trend that is growing among dentists. As an advantage, well polished zirconia crowns tend to wear opposing teeth less than the type of porcelain used with traditional PFM crowns (feldspathic porcelain).

With either case, a properly constructed and well polished zirconia crown can make a good choice. But they still don't have the proven track records of the other two types of crowns, hence the term "better" isn't so appropriate.

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