I could not find a holistic dentist listed in my insurance so had to just go with one that had decent ratings. I was in a rush because an old crown on a back molar that was really hurting me. I’d had it about 30 years and figured it just needed replacing, but it ended up more complicated than that. There was a severe infection that required surgery in order to save the tooth. My new dentist was able to do that and he wants to place a new crown on the tooth. He is suggesting a zirconia crown. I have two concerns about this. First, I hear zirconia is difficult to remove. Given this recent event, you can understand why that makes me nervous. A second issue is I read that zirconia is radioactive. I am uncomfortable with that. Do you have any guidance for me on this? How do I approach my dentist?
I am glad you wrote. First, I want to explain about holistic dentistry. The reason you do not find it listed with your insurance is that it is not a specialty. It is more of a philosophy of treatment. That means any dentist who holds a holistic type of treatment philosophy is a holistic dentist. Basically, it is a philosphy of considering the whole body in your treatment and not just your teeth. One example of this is a dentist who is a mercury-free dentist. That means that they will not place fillings that contain mercury, the way the old silver fillings do.
Your current dentist may even hold a holistic philosophy. The fact that he is suggested a zirconia crown instead of a porcelain fused to metal crown tells me he is factoring in any possiblity of metal sensitivities. Is zirconia hard to remove? Yes, but that is considered a plus. Your recent infection is more likely a product of how your crown was crafted to fit than it is the material.
Because this dentist was able to save the tooth with this severe infection, it tells me he is very likely skilled enough to craft a well-fitted crown to your bite. I don’t think you will have anything to worry about there.
Your second question about radiation is an interesting one. Does zirconia contain radiation? Yes, but it is the same amount of radiation you get in the bricks that our homes are made of or the cement in the sidewalks we traverse every day. Everything has some trace of radioactivity, even the water your drink. Zirconia has been tested and used for a while now and has proven itself to be safe for biological usage.
I hope this helps to put your mind at ease.
This blog is brought to you by Enfield Dentist Dr. William Cummiskey.