Zirconia has a long history as a proven biocompatible material in the human body. It has been used as a prosthesis in hip replacements since the 1970s,2 and for crowns, endodontic posts, implant abutments, and other crown and bridge applications in adult patients for at least 15 years. However, zirconia has only been used for pediatric crowns since 2010, when the first primary zirconia crown came on the market.
When restoring badly broken-down primary incisors and molars, pediatric dentists have several options that have been in use much longer than zirconia crowns, including stainless steel, preveneered stainless steel, and bonded resin strip crowns.
The most obvious advantage of zirconia crowns is their excellent esthetics, which is far superior to other pediatric crown options and rivals custom-fabricated crowns . In adult dentistry, zirconia crowns have been shown to be exceptionally durable. While zirconia crowns have not been used long enough in pediatric dentistry to build up an extensive history, I believe that time will show them to be the most durable of all esthetic pediatric crown options available. Moreover, zirconia crowns will not chip as the preveneered stainless steel crowns do on occasion, nor will they discolor and break down over time like resin strip crowns often do.