Examples of true allergic reactions within dentistry are extremely uncommon. When a reaction to a treatment is investigated properly, it is invariably due to another cause and allergy is exceptionally rare.
Reasons For Dental Crown Problems
Here are the main reasons why problems with zirconia crowns occur, which you may think are allergies but are not true allergies;
Your gums become swollen or red around the Crown margins. They may also bleed. This often leads patients to think that they could be allergic to zirconia crowns. The reason for this is always due to the way the Crown has been constructed. An ideal crown should be constructed so that the margins of the Crown where it meets the gum blend in imperceptibly with the rest of the underlying tooth.
If this margin is not smooth, creating a ledge or an overhang, this will cause bacteria and plaque to accumulate and will be difficult to clean properly with a toothbrush. As a result, the bacteria and plaque will cause the gum to become inflamed, swollen, red and easily bleed when brushed. In most cases, it will be necessary to replace the crown.
A dentist may try to adjust the margins so they are smoother, but you have to remember that a new crown always comes with a glazed surface so it is highly polished and smooth. Any adjustments will remove the glazed surface and this is particularly important along the gum line where plaque and bacteria accumulate. So this is not a true allergic reaction but it is a form of localised gum disease in response to the poor crown edges.
Having sensitivity or pain under a zirconia crown can be misconstrued for an allergic reaction. The reason why a zirconia crown may have pain or sensitivity around it, is because the underlying tooth structure called dentine is being aggravated.
The underlying tooth structure called dentine has nerves inside so somehow these nerves are being aggravated. In most cases, it will be usually necessary to take the crown off and have it replaced with a temporary crown before investigating further.
Problems along the gum line for the zirconia crown can also occur when tiny remnants of the glue that was used to place the crown over the tooth has not been cleaned out fully. This is a fairly easy problem to correct because the dentist will simply clean out the excess glue.
A zirconia crown can be painful when eating. A common problem for this is that the bite for the crown is incorrect. In most cases, the bite can be checked and corrected. It is corrected by altering the biting surface of the Crown to make it more comfortable. This usually eases the symptoms very quickly. If the bite is substantially incorrect, then it is usually necessary to have the whole crown replaced from scratch.
In conclusion, allergies around zirconia crowns are extremely rare and if you suspect that it is an allergy, you should ask your dentist to investigate the other common and more likely causes first.
(Zirconia is just the generic name of the material. Zirconia porcelain is chemically different to the type of porcelain used in the normal traditional crown. As such, it can be known under different Brand names such as IPS e.max, Lava Plus, Suntech, Z-Crown, Zenith, Inceram, Cerec, IPS Empress, BruxZir , just to name a few.)