What’s the difference between Emax and Zirconia?

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What's the difference between Emax and Zirconia?

Emax and Zirconia are two different kinds of ceramic materials used in the production of dental prosthetics. To choose between them, it’s important to know what the differences are between emax and zirconia crowns. 

What Are Emax and Zirconia Made Of?

Emax is a Lithium Disilicate glass. It’s an all-ceramic material made from quartz, lithium dioxide, phosphor oxide, alumina, potassium oxide, and other components.

Zirconia is another name for Zirconium Dioxide. It’s a white, powdered metal oxide that is also ceramic.

Emax crowns and zirconia crowns are commonly produced from a solid block of each material. These are called monolithic crowns.

What Are the Differences Between Them?

The biggest difference between Emax and zirconia is that Emax crowns are more translucent and zirconia crowns are stronger.

Emax is known for having a naturally translucent appearance that allows light through just like natural teeth. Zirconia traditionally had a denser, more opaque look, but improvements in technology have significantly diminished this effect.  Multi-layered zirconia crowns can achieve an impressive translucency while still being much stronger than Emax.

Zirconia crowns have a flexural strength of 800-1200 megapascals, while Emax crowns average between 380-500 megapascals.

Zirconia can also retain its strength even when it’s thinner. This means the dentist doesn’t need to remove as much of the patient’s original teeth to fit the crown on top. Zirconia crowns can be as thin as 0.5mm, while the minimum thickness for Emax is 1.5mm-2mm.

When to Use Which?

The answer to this question depends very much on the doctor’s opinion. Every mouth is unique and an experienced doctor will know all the details that must be taken into consideration.

Overall, if the decision is between the two, it’s more likely that zirconia will be chosen for the posterior teeth (back) and Emax for the anterior (front). This is because the back teeth usually require more strength and less aesthetic beauty, and the opposite is truth for the front.

Cosmetic zirconia has improved so much though, that many doctors find it perfectly suitable for both anterior and posterior restorations, with the strength benefits outweighing the minimal aesthetic difference.

Multi-Layered Cosmetic Zirconia
Multi-Layered Cosmetic Zirconia

LPA Dental Lab Makes Emax and Zirconia Crowns

At LPA Dental Lab we produce high-quality ceramic crowns every day. We deliver locally around the Sacramento and Ripon areas in California, and we ship to the entire continental U.S. With a tight and efficient manufacturing process, we’re able to provide low prices and quick delivery times.

Read More About Our Products

Read More About Zirconia

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About LPA Dental Lab

A dental lab operating out of Ripon and Sacramento, CA. We use the latest in technology to manufacture high-end dental prosthetic, from traditional full-metal crowns to CAD/CAM Zirconia.

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