Zirconia Crowns or Emax Crowns | Which is the Better Choice?

Zirconia Crowns or Emax Crowns | Which is the Better Choice?

Zirconia Crowns or Emax Crowns | Which is the Better Choice?
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  • 12.12.2022

Emax and Zirconia Crown Comparison: Choosing the Right Dental Crown

Today's dentistry offers a wide range of high-strength, tooth-colored dental crown materials, making it easy to become confused by the variations in indications and advantages of each option. In this article, you’ll discover what type of ceramic crown is best to help you have an amazing smile and a strong bite.

The most highly regarded types of dental crowns are probably zirconia crowns and lithium disilicate crowns (Emax). Both of these options are completely biocompatible, meaning they won’t cause you any allergies or other unwanted side effects. They’re both aesthetically pleasing and durable options, though each has the upper hand in one aspect. When considering getting dental crowns, patients frequently ask, "What is the difference between zirconia crowns and Emax crowns?"

Zirconia and Emax crowns have important distinctions that specify when and how they may be employed, despite the fact that both are highly regarded restorative solutions. Read on to find out how they differ in terms of performance, aesthetics, and indications.


What Are Zirconia Crowns?

Zirconia crowns are dental crowns constructed of zirconium oxide, a type of ceramic oxide utilized in many sectors for purposes requiring great strength and biocompatibility. Since the 1970s, it has been used successfully in healthcare settings. From the early 2000s onward, it gained popularity in dentistry.

One of the most durable tooth-colored restorative choices in cosmetic dentistry is zirconia crowns. They have been widely used for applications that in the past called for full-cast metal restorations, like in patients with powerful bites, in those who grind their teeth, and when working in limited spaces.

Because of their opaque nature, they’re less natural-looking than their Emax counterparts. For this reason, dentists often use zirconia crowns for the teeth in the back of the mouth like molars and premolars.

The two most significant zirconia crown varieties are likely BruxZir Full-Strength and BruxZir Esthetic Zirconia crowns. The strength of BruxZir Full-Strength is extraordinarily high, and it has shown capable of withstanding the strongest clinical forces. BruxZir Esthetic trades some of its strength for a more realistic appearance than the full-strength version, but it is still an extremely resilient material. From single units to full-arch prostheses, zirconia crowns may be employed for almost every indication.


What Are Emax Crowns?

Emax crowns are dental crowns used in dental restorations that are made from lithium disilicate, a glass-ceramic substance consisting of lithium dioxide, alumina, quartz, potassium oxide, phosphor oxide, and other materials. This combination produces crowns that are easy to utilize in orthodontic practices and provide unparalleled aesthetics. In addition, Ivoclar Vivadent claims that IPS Emax is the most popular glass-ceramic dental material in the world. For anterior bridges up to three units and single-unit restorations, IPS Emax lithium disilicate can be utilized.


Performance Comparison Between Zirconia and Emax Crowns

The most often mentioned feature when evaluating the performance of ceramic materials is their flexural strength.

A material's capacity to sustain an impacting force before breaking is measured by its flexural strength. This affects the amount of biting stress that a dental crown may withstand in a clinical context before failing. The capacity of a material to be used to construct long-span bridges and the total wall thickness of the finished restoration are both influenced by flexural strength. Greater flexural strength in ceramic materials often supports versatile and less invasive dentistry.

Zirconia crowns have a greater flexural strength rating than Emax crowns, which suggests that they will likely function better in clinical settings that require toughness.

Zirconia crowns are more durable, but in a 10-year independent clinical investigation, both BruxZir Zirconia and IPS Emax crowns showed incredible performance. In the research, 94% of Emax crowns and 100% of BruxZir Full-Strength crowns continued to function after ten years of use. In comparison to PFM (Porcelain Fused Metal) restorations, which have been widely utilised in dentistry over the past several decades, both solutions provide a significant improvement in strength and performance.



Accurately fitting a ceramic restoration between the surrounding original teeth is one of the most difficult tasks in restorative dentistry. Each generation of restorative material offers better aesthetics, as material makers have put great efforts into providing choices that display light transmission, reflection, and color qualities close to those of genuine teeth. The most recent generation of restorative materials used in dentistry includes zirconia and Emax crowns, both of which gain from cutting-edge production processes.

In the past ten years, IPS Emax crowns have gained a reputation as the most exquisite monolithic ceramic restorations available on the market. They closely resemble the coloration and translucency of genuine teeth. Therefore, IPS Emax crowns are utilized for restoration in the front portion of the mouth rather frequently.

Zirconia crowns permit less light transmittance than Emax alternatives as a result of their high-strength composition. This results in a less natural-looking restoration. Although their zirconia composition has an effect on how they look overall, this has been significantly addressed in recent years. When compared to the initial zirconia restorations that were introduced in 2009, the full-strength zirconia crowns of today have a more natural look. Additionally, because of its proprietary composition, BruxZir Full-Strength crowns offer improved visual qualities as compared to most other zirconia crown brands. Because zirconia crowns are frequently utilized for dental work on the back of the mouth for increased strength, their lesser visual aesthetics than Emax crowns do not present an issue.

A new class of zirconia crown has also been released that delivers an even better aesthetic while retaining a significant amount of strength. BruxZir Esthetic is a more realistic-looking alternative to traditional full-strength zirconia in terms of coloration and translucency. BruxZir Esthetic crowns, which were first introduced in 2018, are swiftly winning over dentists for anterior uses.



Here are summaries of all the materials covered above:

Crowns made of full-strength zirconia are far more durable than those made of lithium disilicate. They nevertheless have a patient-pleasing look while allowing for less reduction and being utilized for a wider variety of applications. Zirconia crowns are the best option for individuals who want long-lasting performance as well as situations that call for the greatest degrees of toughness.

Leading aesthetics for the frontal restorations are provided by IPS Emax, which closely resemble natural teeth in terms of colour and translucency. They have a smaller range of indications and are weaker than materials made of monolithic zirconia. For anterior cases requiring a high degree of aesthetics, IPS Emax crowns are the best option.

With strength levels that fall somewhere p most patients, BruxZir Esthetic zirconia crowns provide a balance. For individuals who seek both long-lasting robustness and realistic beauty, BruxZir Esthetic crowns seem like the best option.

To choose the treatment that will be most effective for a particular patient, dentists must ultimately rely on their own knowledge and experience. You may be confident that Zirconia and Emax restorations have shown to be good options for many common restorative dental cases.

You’re welcome to reach out to us for a free consultation if you would like to learn more about this topic or ask any questions you may have.

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