Zirconia Restorations and Information

Characteristics of Zirconium Oxide as a Dental Material

Zirconium dioxide (zirconia) is a high strength ceramic material, which is, for example, used in aerospace technology. Chemically it is a composition of the rare element Zirconium and oxygen, formulated ZrO2. It can also be referred to as Zirconium oxide or Zircon oxide.

Color: White – Ivory
Hardness: High


Zeno Is the trademark for the Zirconium oxide discs used in the Zeno Tec System. The Zeno Tec System is an international company based in Germany know for precision engineering.

Characteristics of Zeno:

  • It has extremely high tensile strength, and is referred to as ceramic steel.
  • It virtually eliminates any allergic reactions.
  • It is not an electrical conductor, so it doesn’t generate an electrical charge. Electrical conductivity contributes to the corrosion of other metals in the mouth.
  • Being non-metallic, there is no corrosion. Therefore, gingival reactions like the usual “black line” at the gumline of traditional porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations, will not occur.
  • As an insulator, it protects against unpleasant hot/cold sensitivity in the mouth.


Aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide ceramic materials have been used for over twenty years in medicine, mainly for hip replacements. These materials have shown over this long history that they are fully biocompatible. And it only stands to reason–they consist mainly of minerals which are also found in natural bone tissue.

How Zirconia Dental Restorations are Made

We have several pages of highly worthwhile information on zirconia crowns and veneers. After you’re through with this page, you can also view a case study of a ten-unit Zeno bridge, with photographs.

How are full ceramic restorations manufactured using advanced ZENO Tec CAD/CAM technology?

Zeno-pic1The dentist takes an impression, and makes a model that exactly replicates the patient’s teeth (pic1).

Zeno-pic2This very precise model is then placed into a sophisticated laser- and camera-supported scanner (pic2) which re-creates a three-dimensional picture on the computer.

Zeno-pic3The restoration is now designed (pic3) with the help of the computer, using techniques similar to what is used in the aerospace industry. The possibilities of the design are virtually unlimited, ranging from single crowns to the most elaborate bridgework.

Zeno-pic4Once the whole design process is finished, all the data is sent to the ZENO Tec milling machine (pic4).

Zeno-pic5The ZENO Tec milling machine will now use this data to mill an extremely precise restoration out of a Zirconia ZENO Zr disc (pic5).

Zeno-pic6Finally, these objects are then cut out and sintered in a special high temperature furnace. Then the crown and bridge substructure is ready to be veneered (pic6) with a special ceramic material (ZIROX), which is formulated to mimic the color, translucency, and texture of your teeth as accurately as possible.

Zeno-pic7Master ceramist Rick Durkee, CDT, AAACD will then create the most natural and esthetic restoration by completing the individual case with different kinds of tooth-imitating ceramic powders (pic7).

Zeno-pic8This masterpiece is then fired in a special ceramic furnace, thus developing the tooth-like vitality and aesthetics (pic8).

Finally Dr. Chal can place this state-of-the-art ZENO Tec restoration in your mouth.

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