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Emax Crowns: Everything You Need to Know About Ceramic Dental Crowns

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Emax crowns are well known for their aesthetic and durable qualities, but are they the right option for you? Dental crowns are tooth-shaped coverings that help restore damaged or missing teeth.

emax crowns
An Emax crown closely resembles your natural teeth and is the most aesthetic type of crown

There are a few different types of crowns made from a variety of different materials, but Emax dental crowns are the most popular. This is due to their high-quality appearance that is almost indistinguishable from your surrounding natural teeth.

Emax is a brand of dental crowns made from a special type of ceramic material. They are generally used by dentists to restore the integrity of the teeth damaged due to decay and as an add-on treatment after a root canal procedure.

In this article, we'll talk details about crowns and how you can get full mouth Emax crowns, and answer the following questions:

  • What is an Emax crown?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • How much do Emax crowns cost in the UK?
  • How do zirconia crowns compare to Emax crowns?
  • What do Emax crown reviews say?

Let's get started with finding out exactly what an Emax crown is.

What are Emax crowns?

Emax dental crowns are a type of dental crown or bridge from the brand Ivoclar Vivadent. They are made from a block of all-ceramic material called lithium disilicate ceramic which gives them a slightly transparent appearance. This gives them a very similar look to your natural teeth, enabling them to blend in seamlessly.

As we have already mentioned above, dental crowns are a type of restorative dentistry that can be used to cover damaged or missing teeth, and are often used after a root canal, or to cover an implant.

What are Emax crowns made from?

Most dentists consider Emax crowns to be among the best because they have an all-ceramic composition based on lithium disilicate glass which is more aesthetically pleasing and durable than other types of crown materials.

Additionally, they also consist of quartz, phosphorus oxide, alumina, lithium dioxide, and other trace elements. An Emax crown ticks all the boxes for the restoration process. It’s a blend of strength and aesthetics, and it possesses several advantages over other types of traditional materials used for dental caps.

They are, however, not recommended on the back teeth as they are not strong enough for heavy chewing over time. But, as these are more of an aesthetic choice, many people opt to have them on their front teeth and another type of crown on their back teeth.

What types of materials are dental crowns made from?

There are several varieties of dental crowns (or caps) available, and picking the best one for you can often be challenging. However, your dentist will most likely have a specific recommendation for your needs.

When considering the available choices, you should keep in mind certain factors such as the strength of the crown, aesthetics, and function. The material that the crown is made from can affect these factors. Some common dental crown materials include:

what is emax crown
When deciding on a type of dental crown, consider the material they are made from
  • Stainless steel – These crowns are pre-fabricated and mostly used on permanent teeth. They are meant to safeguard the tooth or filling from further decay.
  • Metal – These crowns are extremely durable because they are made with alloys that contain gold, base-metal, or platinum. They can comfortably withstand chewing and biting and have a long lifespan.
  • Porcelain-fused metal – While these crowns can be more aesthetically appealing because they can color-match to the adjacent teeth, the porcelain portion can chip off.
  • All-resin – Though these crowns are less expensive, they aren't durable and can easily fracture over time.
  • All-ceramic/zirconia – This type offers a natural, near-perfect colour match and might be ideal for people who have metal allergies. But, they are not made to withstand heavy chewing so are not recommended for back teeth.

What are the benefits of Emax crowns?

Emax crowns have several benefits over their competitors including their durability, aesthetic, shape and fit, and more. Let's jump in and discuss the benefits of these crowns in greater detail.

Aesthetics

Emax crowns are partially translucent which makes them appear real because your natural teeth are also slightly translucent. Unlike zirconia crowns, they don't feel like you’ve put something artificial on your front teeth.

In comparison, zirconia caps can look slightly opaque. This may be fine for your back teeth, but for your visible front teeth, Emax crowns offer better aesthetics and blend in with your surrounding natural teeth better. Sometimes zirconia crowns are layered with Emax crowns material to overcome this disadvantage, and it can also strengthen the crown.

Durability

cementing emax crowns
Compared to zirconia, crowns made with Emax material look more natural and are more durable.

Unlike PFM (porcelain-fused metal), Emax crowns don't have any metal underneath the ceramic. With porcelain-fused metal crowns, the metal is covered with a thin layer of porcelain that results in an unnatural grey line of underlying metal visible at the gumline.

Emax-based prostheses, on the other hand, look completely natural and just like your original teeth. Moreover, in comparison to ceramic zirconia crowns, Emax crowns are more durable and don't chip easily.

The material they are made from gives them strength, helps them last longer, and helps to ensure there are fewer chances of them cracking or fracturing.

Perfect shape and fit

One of the advantages of Emax crowns is that they can be easily fabricated by CAD-CAM milling. CAD-CAM milling is a procedure used by dentists to give crowns the perfect shape and size that matches the natural teeth of a patient.

In this technique, a digital impression of the teeth is made and then that impression is fed into CAD-CAM software. A customized tooth crown is then created.

Conserve the natural tooth structure

For better oral health, it’s important to have a good tooth structure. Emax crowns are resistant to cracking, and very thin layers can be created, which helps conserve more of the original tooth. During the preparation, dentists don’t have to remove as much of your natural tooth structure, leading to greater tooth strength.

Multiple options available

Options like veneers, inlays, onlays, overlays, and short-span bridges are available for teeth restoration with the Emax system.

Although Emax crowns might be more costly compared to other solutions, they are still way ahead of the competition in terms of aesthetics and tooth conservation.

Dr Michael DiTolla, DDS examines Emax in detail in this video.

To Send a Case: http://glidewell.dental/yourlab Want to earn FREE CE? Visit http://glidewell.dental/FreeCE In this episode’s Case of the Week, IPS e.max® and BruxZir® Solid Zirconia are put side by side to compare their abilities to cover up unesthetic stump shades and cements in the anterior.

What are some Emax crown disadvantages?

There aren't many Emax crowns disadvantages when we compare them with other dental crowns. However, there are a few points to keep in mind when deciding if they are right for you.

These tooth caps are most suitable for your front teeth due to the fact your front teeth exert less force when biting down and chewing. Metal crowns are better for your posterior teeth as they can stand greater force when you are chewing.

Emax crowns are also not suitable for those with bruxism, as grinding your teeth could damage the crown. So simply put, they are not meant to withstand heavy forces such as chewing and grinding your teeth.

Another disadvantage is the Emax crown cost which is more expensive compared to a zirconia crown, and even more so than a standard metal crown. This is one of the reasons that some people choose not to get this type of crown.

What do Emax crowns cost in the UK?

The average Emax crown cost in the UK is between £500 – £900, but some places have been known to charge up to £1600 for a single Emax crown. They are the most expensive type of crown and the cost alone is enough to put some people off choosing one to replace their missing teeth.

Emax crowns price can be extremely expensive in the UK, as are many other treatments such as dental implants and veneers. But, have you ever considered dental tourism for cheaper dental work?

If you decide that you would like to have an Emax crown, dental tourism can make the procedure much more affordable. In some countries, you could stand to save up to 70% on the total cost, and you can enjoy a holiday at the same time! Or, if you don't want to go abroad you can always look into dental financing or ask your dentist for a payment plan.

How is an Emax crown fitted?

It actually depends on the condition of your teeth, but these are the typical steps:

  1. First, the dentist performs an examination and cleans your teeth ready for Emax crown prep.
  2. Then, using a small drill, the teeth are reshaped so that the crown can fit onto them.
  3. Depending on the level of damage or staining, part of the tooth may be removed or drilled out. Sometimes the tooth reduction is negligible if you have very small teeth.
  4. The dentist will then take a digital impression of your teeth with the help of a mould filled with dental putty. This is used as a cast for the fabrication of crowns.
  5. For two or three weeks you might have to wear a temporary crown until the new one is ready. The dentist will then complete the final fitting through dental surgery.
  6. After the fitting, the dentist does a final colour check against a shade chart.  
emax dental crowns front teeth
Emax crowns are all-ceramic crowns that are extremely durable and natural-looking

Who can benefit the most from Emax caps?

Emax crowns strengthen existing teeth and improve aesthetics. People with stained teeth, fractured teeth, and anyone who needs a crown can benefit the most from them. Some of the conditions that can benefit from Emax crowns include the following:

  • Stained teeth – The Emax material will protect your teeth from stains caused by acidic and strongly-pigmented food and drink.
  • Crooked teeth – Anterior teeth are often crooked, but dentists can correct this problem with the help of Emax crowns, which restore the structure and shape of crooked teeth.
  • Post-root canalRoot canal procedures often leave teeth very fragile and brittle but they can be restored with an Emax crown.
  • Fractured teeth – A fractured or chipped tooth due to trauma and accidents can be restored with Emax crowns by providing strength and support and preventing the tooth from breaking further.

How do Emax crowns compare to other types of dental crowns?

Emax crowns vs zirconia crowns

Emax crowns are an all-ceramic crown system. They aren’t porcelain, but they lay on top of teeth to appear translucent. This technique gives teeth a completely realistic look that matches your natural teeth. It also provides strength so that weak teeth resist breaking or cracking, and the material is chip-resistant.

Zirconia crowns, though most commonly used by dentists, aren't as aesthetically appealing or as strong as Emax crowns, which can resist more pressure. In short, zirconia crowns are fine, but if you want better-looking and more durable dental crowns, you should go for Emax. However, you will have to pay a little more for them compared to zirconia crowns.

Emax crowns vs PFM crowns

When it comes to Emax crowns vs PFM crowns they are quite different in their advantages. PFM crowns are metal crowns with a porcelain outer shell, whereas Emax ones are all-ceramic.

This means that Emax crowns are more aesthetic than PFM crowns because they look more like your natural teeth. PFM crowns tend to have a visible grey line by the gum line, and the porcelain outer shell is more opaque.

However, PFM crowns can take greater force, so are suitable for your back teeth or for people who grind their teeth. Emax crowns look more like your real teeth so they are recommended for your front visible teeth, but they aren't recommended on your posterior teeth that can take more pressure from chewing.

PFM crowns are also more prone to chipping, so although they can take heavier forces they are not as durable in the long run.

To sum up, here’s a breakdown of Emax versus other types of crowns:

Emax ceramic crown

Zirconia  crown

PFM crown 

Material

Zirconium composition

Lithium disilicate

Porcelain fused to metal

Strength rating

1,200 MPa

500 MPa

150 MPa

Aesthetics

Ranges from solid to translucent

Translucent to match natural teeth

Visible lines on front teeth

Bond strength

Low

Excellent

Low

Cost

Average cost between £450 - £800 per crown

Average cost between £500 - £900 per crown

Average cost between £300 - £850 per crown

Conclusion

If you’re considering getting dental crowns, you should ideally not compromise on aesthetics and strength. Emax crowns look and perform much better than most other dental caps out there, and that’s probably why most dentists recommend them. Emax is a solution that lasts for years and looks good day in and day out.

If you are considering Emax crowns but are concerned about the cost, they are one of the more expensive treatments for restoring missing teeth. But, you always have the option of dental tourism for more expensive dental treatments.

Some countries offer treatments up to 70% cheaper than the UK. You can enjoy a holiday abroad and get dental treatment at the same time, all for less than it might cost you at your local dental practice.

FAQs

What are Emax crowns?

Emax crowns are dental crowns made with lithium disilicate, which is durable and resembles a natural tooth colour. They're worth the investment because they last a long time and are aesthetically appealing.

How strong are Emax crowns, and how long do they last?

The strength of the dental crown is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing crown material. Emax crowns have a lifespan of around 10 years or more. They’re made of extremely tough lithium disilicate material.

The most important thing to note is that a single block of lithium disilicate is used to make Emax crowns. This ensures that there are no joints in the construction and the crown can withstand maximum pressure. The chances of chipping or breaking this durable crown are low.

Its compression strength is quite high compared to other crown materials, and an Emax crown has a strength rating of 500 MPa, meaning it can resist very high pressure without cracking or failing.

Can Emax crowns be whitened?

Emax crowns may stain over time if exposed to wine, coffee, or smoking. These stains cannot be whitened with regular brushing and flossing, and whitening treatments will not work on them. The only way to make them white again would be to replace them.

Emax Crowns: Everything You Need to Know About Ceramic Dental Crowns
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Contributors:
Amanda combines her medical background with her love for writing to bring you informed and accurate content at Dentaly.org.
Sources

Basic Health: Zirconia vs. Emax crowns. Consulted 28th September 2020.

Dental Treatment Guide: Emax crowns. Consulted 29th September 2020.

WebMD: Dental crowns. Consulted 16th October 2020.