Zirconia Vs Lithium Disilicate: The Future Of All-Ceramic Dentistry
Zirconia has been widely used for various all-ceramic restorations. However, lithium disilicate possesses better esthetics, representing the future development trend of all-ceramic materials.
1. Lithium disilicate can achieve a minimum thickness of 0.2mm that better mimics natural teeth. Zirconia requires a minimum thickness of 0.5mm for adequate strength, which more compromises tooth preparation and esthetics.
2. Lithium disilicate restorations can have 30-50% less volume loss of natural teeth compared to zirconia. This means less removal of healthy natural teeth and more environmentally friendly.
3. The variety of lithium disilicate materials and applications is rapidly increasing, providing more choices and customization for both dentists and patients.
4. CAD/CAM technology significantly simplifies the workflow of lithium disilicate restorations, speeding up their adoption in clinical practices.
5. Lithium disilicate exhibits superior translucency for invisible esthetic outcomes. Its natural fluorescence also enhances the vitality of restorations.
While zirconia is still a reliable, strong and versatile material for all ceramic restorations, lithium disilicate is becoming a competitive option and taking a quickly increasing market share, especially in the anterior region, due to its incomparable esthetics and convenience. Technological innovation will further expand the indication of lithium disilicate to include posterior crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers.
The future of all-ceramic dentistry is full of promises and surprises. With a wider range of materials and digital technologies, all-ceramic restorations are able to mimic nature tooth in terms of both strength and beauty. Dentists now have more advanced tools to provide patients quicker, more predictable and long-lasting solutions for their smiles. Lithium disilicate and zirconia are leading the way to the next level of success.