Exploring the Differences Between Zirconia and Porcelain Restorations

Both zirconia and porcelain offer lifelike results and can be used to craft custom dental crownsbridges, or dentures. However, we have found that Prettau® Zirconia offers unparalleled strength, durability, and aesthetics.

Drs. Clifford Degel and Carmen Every-Degel offer both options at their dental practice in Queens, NY, and can help you select the option most suited to your needs.

Ready to find out why we recommend zirconia for our patients?

One of the most important decisions you will have to make when receiving a new restoration is the material you would like to use. Although the position of your affected tooth and your unique needs will help your dentist recommend the appropriate material, many times the decision comes down to a matter of preference: zirconia vs. porcelain restorations. During your consultation, we can explain the differences between the two materials to help you feel confident about your decision. 

Porcelain vs. Zirconia

porcelain vs. zirconia

Porcelain (left) and zirconia (right) can both be crafted for translucency and a natural-looking color.

We are here to help you decide between these two options...

Major Differences  Between the Materials

At Astoria Dental Group, we prefer zirconia dental restorations over those made of any other material, including porcelain, because they have shown unmatched strength, durability, longevity, cosmetics, and patient comfort.

Zirconia restorations have an extremely high flexural and tensile strength. This means that Prettau® Zirconia can better withstand the normal wear and tear on teeth from chewing, biting, and speaking. If you are receiving a restoration on your back molars or if you grind your teeth, a zirconia restoration may be a better choice.

Because of their exceptional durability and strength, zirconia restorations generally last longer than porcelain. While porcelain crowns usually need replacement after a few years, zirconia crowns have shown a 99 percent survival rate after five years

Both porcelain and zirconia are custom-made to look very natural. However, zirconia is multicolored and highly translucent. During fabrication, our technicians use custom coloring techniques for seamless integration into your smile. The optimized microstructure of the zirconia produces greater translucency, so the restorations reflect light in the same manner as natural teeth. 

Due to the non-abrasive nature of the material, zirconia restorations offer a superior level of comfort. The restorations have a smooth exterior, which prevents abrasion to surrounding teeth and gum tissue. In contrast, porcelain restorations may cause damage to the surrounding teeth and soft tissues as a result of the friction that occurs when speaking or chewing.

On average, an adult male has a bite force of about 175 pounds, which is equal to roughly 1.2 megapascals (MPa). Zirconia has the capacity to withstand about 900 MPa.

- DocShop.com

Both options can provide a natural appearance for damaged teeth...

Similarities between Zirconia and Porcelain Restorations

Both zirconia and porcelain are safe and biocompatible.

Regardless of the material, our restorations are designed with durability in mind and can last for several years after placement.

Zirconia and porcelain restorations are non-porous, making them resistant to chipping, cracking, and staining.

Each restoration we produce at Astoria Dental Group is custom-crafted to match the shade and characteristics of your unique smile.

Both materials can be used in many types of dental restorations, including:

  • Inlays and Onlays: A step between dental fillings and crowns, these restorations replace decayed or damaged parts of the molars' biting surfaces.
  • Dental Crowns: A crown can be used to repair and protect a damaged tooth, or when paired with an implant, to replace a single missing tooth.
  • Dental Bridges: A dental bridge is used to replace multiple, consecutive missing teeth.
  • DenturesFull dentures are designed to replace all of the teeth in the upper or lower arch. Partial dentures can replace just a few missing teeth at a time. 
Why We Prefer Zirconia

Zirconia bridges have a 5-year success rate of 99.3%

*According to clinical research in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Why are zirconia restorations so much stronger?

200% higher bending strength than porcelain

 (based on rigorous laboratory testing)

Weighing the pros and cons of each option can make your decision easier...

Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages of Your Options


Zirconia Porcelain
Biocompatible X X
Nearly unbreakable X
Non-porous X X
Prevents abrasion to surrounding teeth and gums X
Lasts several years X X
Can be color-matched X X
Metal-free X X


Zirconia Porcelain
Can chip or stain X
Could cause wear to other teeth  X
Cannot withstand pressure affecting back teeth X
Hypersensitivity to heat and cold X
Requires large amounts of tooth reduction X
Costs more than metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns X X
Hard to notice underlying decay X

Prettau® Implant Bridge Manhattan, NYC & Queens

Finally a screw retained permanent implant bridge that is not acrylic or porcelain! It’s 100% zirconia and will not chip, crack, or stain! It’s the future of implant dentistry.

View More

Contact a Provider to Learn More

If you are still unsure about which type of restoration is right for you, our doctors will be happy to evaluate your case and discuss the differences during your consultation. As providers of Prettau Zirconia, we have found that it offers impressive, unparalleled benefits for virtually all benefits. To learn more about your restorative options, send us an online message or call (718) 278-1123.

Astoria Dental Group

Drs. Degel and Every-Degel

Our doctors are widely recognized for their contributions to the field of dentistry. They are members of various prestigious organizations, including: 

  • Academy of General Dentistry 
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry 
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists 
  • American Dental Association

If you are ready to transform your smile with Astoria Dental Group, request a consultation online or call us in Queens at (718) 278-1123.


The office staff, as always were polite, friendly, and professional. The hygenist was professional and did a great job with my cleaning. Thank you very much!

- Michael M.

Our Location

Astoria Office

32-17 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106

Open Today 9:00am - 3:00pm

Hours & Info


(718) 278-1123

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Astoria Office

32-17 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106

Open Today 9:00am - 3:00pm

Hours & Info


(718) 278-1123