Everything you need to know about dental zirconia

This course will review the generations of zirconia, some of their clinically relevant properties (strength, translucency, degradation), and the process of fabricating these crowns in the dental laboratory.

3 CE Credits

A peer-reviewed course written by Nathanial C. Lawson, DMD, PhD


Zirconia has become the most prescribed material for posterior crowns in the US. This material has undergone an evolution in the fabrication process since its introduction as primarily a framework material. Newer forms of zirconia have become more translucent, such that they may be used as anterior crowns. The increased translucency, however, comes with a tradeoff in strength. This course will review the generations of zirconia, some of their clinically relevant properties (strength, translucency, degradation), and the process of fabricating these crowns in the dental laboratory.

Educational objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the dental practitioner will be able to:

  • Describe the compositional differences among the various generations of zirconia and how they affect the relevant clinical properties of the material.
  • Describe how the relevant properties of zirconia can be altered by the methods in which zirconia is fabricated by manufacturers and sintered in the dental laboratory.
  • Choose a generation of zirconia based on specific clinical needs.
  • Use high quality zirconia materials and follow manufacturer’s recommendations for milling and sintering.

Nathaniel Lawson, DMD, PhD, is the director of the Division of Biomaterials at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry and the program director of the biomaterials residency program. He has published extensively on the topics of mechanical, optical, and biologic properties of dental materials and clinical evaluation of new dental materials. He lectures on clinical applications for modern dental materials and works as a general dentist in the UAB Faculty Practice.

Image credit: © Jakkarin Jindapon | Dreamstime.com
Quick Access Code: 21012

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 6 Lessons
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: August 2021

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at lwinfield@endeavorb2b.com.

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-21012. Expires July 2024. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 610


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code:


    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at ada.org/goto/cerp.



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