Zirconia Crown vs E-max Crown: Which option is best for you?

In today’s field of dentistry, there is a wide range of dental crown materials available, all of which are of high strength, and tooth-colored, meaning they match the natural color of teeth. With such a diversity of options, it is understandable getting confused and overwhelmed trying to understand their unique uses and benefits. This article aims to guide you in choosing the most appropriate ceramic crown that will not only help you have an amazing smile but also provide a strong bite.

Zirconia crowns and lithium disilicate crowns, specifically E-max, are the most highly regarded types of dental crowns. Both choices are completely biocompatible, meaning they won’t cause any allergies or undesirable side effects. Not only are they both aesthetically pleasing, but they also offer durability. Patients often inquire about the differences between zirconia crowns and E-max crowns when contemplating their dental crown selection.

While both zirconia and E-max crowns are highly regarded in the field of restorative dentistry, they have significant distinctions that specify applications and usage. Read on to find out they change from one another regarding their performance, aesthetics, and indications.

Image illustrating the best zirconia crowns in Albania

What Are Zirconia Crowns?

Zirconia crowns are dental crowns made from zirconium oxide, a ceramic oxide known for its strength and biocompatibility. This material has been utilized in various industries for its robust properties and has found success since the 1970s. However, it began to gain popularity in the early 2000s.

Zirconia crowns are considered one of the most durable options for tooth-colored restorations in cosmetic dentistry. They have gained popularity for applications that in the past required full-cast metal restorations. Zirconia crowns are suitable for patients with strong bites, those who grind their teeth, and who work in limited spaces.

Due to their opaque appearance, zirconia crowns are less natural-looking compared to E-max crowns. Consequently, dentists prefer to use zirconia crowns for the posterior teeth, such as molars and premolars.

Among the notable types of zirconia crowns are BruxZir Full-Strength and BruxZir Esthetic zirconia crowns. BruxZir Full-Strength offers an extraordinary level of strength, capable of withstanding the strongest clinical forces. BruxZir Esthetic, on the other hand, trades some of its strength for a more realistic appearance, but it is still a resilient material. From single-tooth restorations to full-arch prostheses, zirconia crowns can be used for almost every indication.

Image illustrating affordable e-max crowns in Albania

What Are Emax Crowns?

E-max crowns are a type of dental crown made from lithium disilicate, a glass-ceramic material composed of elements such as lithium dioxide, alumina, quartz, potassium oxide, and phosphorus oxide. This combination results in the creation of crowns suitable for use in dental restorations, particularly in orthodontic practices. Additionally, they offer unparalleled aesthetics. Ivoclar Vivadent, a dental materials manufacturer, claims that IPS E-max is the most used glass-ceramic dental material worldwide. They are commonly utilized for anterior bridges with up to three units and single-unit restorations.

Performance Comparison Between Zirconia and Emax Crowns

When evaluating the performance of ceramic materials, one of the most often mentioned features is their flexural strength.

A material’s capacity to withstand an impacting force without breaking is measured by its flexural strength. In a clinical context, this directly affects the amount of biting stress that a dental crown may resist and its overall durability. The flexural strength of material also impacts its suitability for the construction of long-span bridges, as it determines the load-bearing capacity of restoration. Additionally, materials with higher flexural strength can support the creation of restorations with reduced wall thickness, allowing a more conservative and minimally invasive approach in dentistry.

Zirconia crowns have a higher flexural strength rating than E-max crowns, suggesting their superior functionality in clinical settings that require toughness and durability.

In terms of durability, zirconia crowns are more durable, but in a 10-year independent clinical study, both BruxZir zirconia and IPS E-max showed remarkable performance. According to the research, 94% of E-max crowns and 100% of BruxZir Full-Strength crowns continued to function after a decade of use. When compared to traditional Porcelain Fused Metal (PFM) restorations, which have been widely used in dentistry for many years, both zirconia and E-max crowns provide an improvement in strength and performance.


Accurately fitting a ceramic restoration between the natural teeth is a difficult task in restorative dentistry. However, each generation of restorative materials has improved the aesthetics of dental restorations. Material makers have made efforts to develop options that closely mimic the light transmission, reflection, and color characteristics of natural teeth. The most recent generation of restorative materials used in dentistry includes zirconia and E-max crowns, both of which benefit from state-of-the-art production processes.

Over the past decade, IPS E-max crowns have gained a reputation as the leading choice for monolithic ceramic restorations. They have a remarkable resemblance to the natural color and translucency of natural teeth. As a result, IPS E-max crowns are used in restoration in the anterior region of the mouth.

Zirconia crowns have a lower level of light transmission compared to E-max crowns, due to their high-strength composition, resulting in a less natural-looking restoration. However, progress has been made in recent years to solve this issue and improve the aesthetics of zirconia crowns. Modern full-strength zirconia crowns have a more natural look compared to the initial zirconia restoration first introduced in 2009. BruxZir Full-Strength crowns, stand out with their composition, offering enhanced visual qualities when compared to many other zirconia crown brands. 

Dentistry now offers a new class of zirconia crown that not only retains a significance of strength but also delivers an even better aesthetic. BruxZir Esthetic, introduced in 2018, is a more natural-looking option to traditional full-strength zirconia in terms of color and translucency. Dentists are embracing BruxZir Esthetic crowns for anterior uses.

Image illustrating dental crown procedures in Albania

What Is The Suitable Choice For Anterior And Posterior Crowns?

Zirconia crowns are usually chosen for posterior teeth, whereas E-max is preferred for anterior teeth. This is due to the posterior teeth requiring a lot of force during chewing and being less visible, so aesthetics are of lesser importance. However, the choice of crown material ultimately depends on the patient’s specific dental condition. In recent years, the aesthetics of zirconia crowns have improved, making them suitable for anterior and posterior dental restorations. They now offer outstanding durability and enhanced aesthetics.

The Advantages Of Emax Crown

  • Strength: Lithium disilicate crowns have a monolithic structure and a strength of 380-500 MPa.
  • Functionality: Lithium disilicate crowns fully restore the functionality of the teeth, particularly in the chewing zones. They are especially prominent in anterior teeth areas.
  • Aesthetics: These crowns are visually indistinguishable from natural teeth and do not have an opaque frame. Dentists can choose the most accurate shade and transparency to match the patient’s natural dentition. The color of lithium disilicate crowns remains stable and does not change over time.
  • Comfort: Lithium disilicate crowns are made with high precision, ensuring an anatomical shape that provides a correct bite, excellent closure, and a comfortable chewing experience.
  • Safety: Lithium disilicate is biocompatible, meaning it does not cause allergies or irritation. The material is well-tolerated by patients.
  • Durability: With proper care, lithium disilicate crowns can serve for more than 15 years, preserving their original properties and appearance.

The Advantages Of Zirconia Crown

  • Strength: Zirconia crowns have a monolithic structure and have high strength, ranging from 800 to 1200 MPa.
  • Functionality: Zirconia crowns fully restore the functionality of the teeth across all zones of the mouth.
  • Aesthetics: Layered zirconia restorations are an excellent choice for achieving both optimal aesthetics and strength.
  • Comfort: Zirconia crowns are made with high precision, ensuring an anatomical shape that promotes proper bite, comfortable closure, and ease of chewing.
  • Safety: Zirconia is biocompatible, does not oxide, and doesn’t cause allergies, or irritation. The material is suitable for all patients.
  • Durability: With appropriate maintenance, zirconia crowns can serve for more than 15 years, keeping their original properties and appearance.
Image illustrating affordable zirconia and e-max crowns in Albania

What Are The Drawbacks Of The Zirconia Crown?

Zirconia crowns have minimal drawbacks. The strength of the material has raised concerns about fractions against tooth roots and wearing down. One notable drawback of zirconia crowns is the price. 

How Long To Manufacture Emax Crown And Zirconia Crown?

At Trio Dental Center, we receive scanned files, and our team will use CAD/CAM technology to design the crowns, to achieve precise fit and aesthetic appeal. The next step is milling the crowns, followed by processing by skilled technicians to achieve a final translucent appearance. The entire process is completed within a maximum of two days. 

Which is Better? 

Both E-max and zirconia crowns can be utilized to fix broken or damaged teeth, severe tooth decay, missing teeth, discolored teeth, and misaligned teeth. Furthermore, both materials are effective in replacing old porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns that may show metal lines. The notable difference between the two is that E-max crowns are more translucent. Patients who are seeking to replace their front teeth to restore a smile might prefer them. While E-max crowns are translucent, they can still be crafted to provide strength for replacing molars located at the back of the mouth. 

The decision between using E-max and zirconia crowns depends on the number of crowns needed. While both are highly suited for single-tooth replacements, the multiple uses in dental bridges or for adjacent teeth should follow serious dental considerations. You might also want to take into account the properties of zirconia crowns which use materials like porcelain.

Choosing between E-max and zirconia for dental crowns can be difficult. Both materials offer excellent, long-lasting results. As above mentioned, E-max is more translucent than zirconia. To determine the most suitable material for your dental crown treatment, it is recommended to consult with your dentist.

If you are interested in receiving a free quote for E-max or zirconia crowns, we invite you to reach out to us. You can send us your dental photographs or X-rays for an online consultation. Our dental team will get back to you after evaluating your case and they will provide you with recommendations regarding the associated costs. We offer affordable dental treatments in Albania, and our services make sure that your E-max crown treatment or zirconia crown treatment can be completed within 5 days. Additionally, we provide return pick-up services from the airport to your accommodation and for your dental appointments at our clinic.

Image illustrating dental crown treatment in Albania


Here are summaries of the materials covered above:

Full-strength zirconia crowns are far more durable and resilient than lithium disilicate crowns. Despite their strength, zirconia crowns still offer an aesthetically pleasing appearance, while allowing less tooth reduction, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. Zirconia crowns are recommended for individuals seeking long-lasting performance and cases that demand the highest levels of toughness and durability.

IPS E-max crowns stand out as a leading choice when it comes to achieving superior aesthetics in anterior restorations. These crowns closely mimic the color and translucency of natural teeth. While IPS E-max crowns have a more limited range of indications, they also are weaker than materials made of monolithic zirconia. For the above reasons, IPS E-max crowns are primarily recommended for anterior cases that prioritize aesthetic excellence.

BruxZir Esthetics zirconia crowns offer a balance for those who seek a combination of strength and aesthetic appeal. Subsequently, they are the ideal choice, seeing as they provide long-lasting durability while also delivering a natural and realistic appearance.

To choose the most suitable treatment for a specific patient, dentists rely on their experience and knowledge. Zirconia and E-max restorations have proven to be effective solutions for various common restorative dental cases. If you are confident in exploring this topic or have any questions, we welcome you to contact us for a consultation. Our team is available to provide additional information and address any inquiries you may have.

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