Acrylic is the most common and affordable denture material. It can be made to look somewhat realistic, and when the prosthetic is anchored to dental implants, the patient can experience a restored ability to chew and enunciate properly. However, acrylic has significant downsides that compelled prosthodontists to start looking beyond this popular yet imperfect material.
In addition to having only passable aesthetic qualities, acrylic dentures stain quickly and easily. The pontics (prosthetic teeth) as well as the gum-colored base become gradually discolored with every meal, snack, and beverage the patient consumes. Meanwhile, acrylic is the most malleable material used in prosthodontics. This “give” occurs each time the user chews or bites, taking a significant toll on the prosthetic. Due to these shortcomings, acrylic dentures may need to be replaced as often as every three years.
Zirconia provides a superior alternative in every respect. This option is still relatively new, but due to its exceptional strength, it is expected that with proper care, a Zirconia bridge could last the rest of your life.