General information about zirconia 


What is Zirconia?
  • Zirconia (ZrSiO4) is a mineral belonging to the mineral class of Silicates, discovered in 1789 by M.H. Klaproth.
  • Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) is a compound of the element zirconium occurring in nature and has already been used for 10-15 years in the prosthetic dentistry. It is partially stabilized by yttrium and enriched with aluminium. This results into positive characteristics such as high bending strength (>1400 MPa*), hardness (1200 HV*) and a Weibull module of 15,84*.
    (* Values of Zirkonzahn ICE Zirconia Translucent)


Where is it used?
  • In addition to its high resistance Zirconia is fully biocompatible. That is why it is increasingly used in the medical field (auditory, finger and hip prostheses) and in dentistry (pins, crowns and bridges restorations, implants). In industry it has already been used for more than 40 years. The white basic colour of Zirconia, the possibility of colouring in dentin colours and its biotechnological characteristics enable the production of biocompatible, high-quality and esthetical dental and implant reconstructions.


Is Zirconia radioactive?
  • Everything is radioactive! The human body has 6000 Bq. One kilogram Zirconium dioxide has approx. 2.3 Bq. A crown weighs approx. 1 gr., metal ceramic can have up to 1000 Bq/kg.


Are removable dental prostheses possible?
  • Yes, if certain physical laws of the construction technology for Zirconia are taken into account and the dental technician masters the manufacturing technology.


Why can bridges break?
  • Bridges can break if fundamental errors are made in the frame structure manufacturing. There is a Zirkonzahn calculation tool for dimensioning bridge structures.


How does the aging process of Zirconia and the involved loss of strength compare with the usual metal ceramics?
  • All frame structure materials age, including metals. The bending strength before aging of metal is approx. 500 MPa, of ICE Zirconia approx. 1400 MPa. With a theoretical, but so far not proven loss of strength of 30% still remain 980 MPa in respect to Zirconia.


Aesthetics comparison zirconia/metal ceramics
  • ICE Zirkon frame structures are translucent and therefore aesthetically superior in comparison with opaque metal frame structures.


How does the durability of Zirconia frame structures including veneering compare with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns?
  • When the framework design is correct in terms of dimension and precision there are no disadvantages compared with
    porcelain-fused-to-metal crown technology.

100%  Prettau® Zirconia versus metal-ceramic – The Hammer test!



How do the costs compare with metal ceramics?
  • Regarding the material use Zirconia is equivalent or just slightly more expensive than metal ceramic.


Is full Zirconia possible?
  • Experts among the dental technicians are able to realize conventionally precious metal-based dental prosthesis constructions in zirconia.
  • In this connection Zirkonzahn has developed the high translucent Prettau® Zirconia and a colouring technology especially coordinated with it. Thus, aesthetically appealing full Zirconia restorations can be manufactured.