Are Lava Crowns Worth the Cost?

I had 3 lava crowns put in 1 year ago. One chipped after a few weeks now another has broken. I was told they were durable & guaranteed. Since I'm told I grind my teeth it seems as though the lava crowns might have been the wrong choice.

Doctor Answers 3

Lava crowns

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Lava crowns are really a great option - for anterior area. Even the research supports good long-term results of all-ceramic crowns for posterior teeth, in my practice we never place them in posterior areas. All-ceramic crowns are still more fragile in molar area. Also, the patient usually gets the nightguard to preserve the crowns, especially when the signs of grinding are obvious. 

Ceramic crowns in the back of the mouth.

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Dental crowns are made of a variety of materials.  The ones that look like teeth, i.e not made of gold or metal, have a layer of porcelain that surrounds a core material.  This core material can be a metal, such as gold, or can be a ceramic, such as alumina or zirconia.  Lava is a brand of zirconia that makes up the core of the crown.  The outside of the crown is a porcelain that is layered around to give the tooth vitality and shape.  It is this porcelain that can chip or fracture, especially if you are a grinder.  A better option can be using a full contour stained zirconia crown.  These crowns are very strong, they are virtually indestructible.  With proper staining they can be beautiful as well.  I attached a video that demonstrates the strength of one such crown made of Prettau Zirconia compared to traditional porcelain over metal.


Hope this helps.

Dan Hagi, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Are Lava Crowns worth it.

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I have used a lot of Lava Crowns in my practice.  I now prefer e-max crowns instead of Lava Crowns due to the marginal fit and the strength you get with bonding a restoration verses cementing a restoration.  It is always better to bond over cement because you get a sealed marginal fit and the bond will actually strengthen the existing tooth.  I still use zirconium over implant abutments but prefer e-max now.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.