Purpose: This review aimed to evaluate the documented clinical success of zirconia based crowns in clinical trials.
Materials and methods: Electronic databases were searched for original studies reporting on the clinical performance of tooth- or implant-supported zirconia-based crowns, including PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Science Direct. The electronic search was complemented by manual searches of the bibliographies of all retrieved full-text articles and reviews as well as a hand search of the following journals: International Journal of Prosthodontics, Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants, and Clinical Oral Implants Research.
Results: The search yielded 3,216 titles. Based on preestablished criteria, 42 full-text articles were obtained. While 16 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, only 3 randomized controlled trials were reported. Seven studies reported on tooth-supported and 4 on implant-supported crowns, and 5 studies reported on both types of support. Ten studies on tooth-supported and 7 on implant supported crowns provided sufficient material for statistical analysis. Life table analysis revealed cumulative 5-year survival rates of 95.9% for tooth-supported and 97.1% for implant-supported crowns. For implant-supported crowns, the most common reasons for failure were technical (veneering material fractures). For tooth-supported crowns, technical (veneering material fractures, loss of retention) and biologic (endodontic/ periodontic) reasons for failure were equally common. The most common complications for implant-supported crowns were veneering material fractures and bleeding on probing. For tooth-supported crowns, the most common complications were loss of retention, endodontic treatment, veneering material fractures, and bleeding on probing.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the success rate of tooth-supported and implant-supported zirconia-based crowns is adequate, similar, and comparable to that of conventional porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. These results are, however, based on a relatively small number of studies, many that are not controlled clinical trials. Well-designed studies with large patient groups and long follow-up times are needed before general recommendations for the use of zirconia-based restorations can be provided.