Zirconia restorations: An American Dental Association Clinical Evaluators Panel survey

J Am Dent Assoc. 2021 Jan;152(1):80-81.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2020.10.012. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Background: Zirconia is a relatively new dental material used for indirect dental restorations. Little is known about how dental practitioners are using this material in their practice.

Methods: A survey on zirconia restorations was developed and administered electronically through e-mail communications to the American Dental Association Clinical Evaluators (ACE) Panel on August 31, 2020. Reminders were sent to nonrespondents, and the survey closed 2 weeks after the launch date.

Results: When using zirconia for a restoration, respondents choose it to restore natural teeth (99%) more often than implants (76%). Almost all respondents (98%) use it for posterior crowns, whereas approximately two-thirds (61%) use it for anterior crowns. Restoration removal or replacement and shade matching and translucency were the top 2 cited disadvantages of zirconia, whereas most of the respondents (57%) cited flexural strength or fracture resistance as the biggest advantage. Fine diamonds and ceramic polishers are used most often to polish and adjust zirconia restorations, whereas coarse diamond rotary instruments and those made specifically for zirconia are most frequently used for removing these restorations. Compared with metal ceramic restorations, more than 50% of respondents experience debonding more often with zirconia restorations.

Conclusions: Dentists recognize the favorable fracture resistance and flexural strength properties of zirconia, and most use similar techniques when adjusting and removing this material. Removing these restorations and shade matching are a struggle for many.

Practical implications: Dentists may benefit from tips on the best methods to remove, shade match, and adhesively bond zirconia restorations.

MeSH terms

  • American Dental Association*
  • Ceramics
  • Crowns
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Porcelain
  • Dental Prosthesis Design
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Dental Stress Analysis
  • Dentists*
  • Humans
  • Professional Role
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Zirconium


  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Porcelain
  • Zirconium
  • zirconium oxide