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Zirconium dioxide, sometimes known as zirconia (not to be confused with zircon), is a white crystalline oxide of zirconium. Its most naturally occurring form, with a monoclinic crystalline structure, is the mineral baddeleyite. A dopant stabilized cubic structured zirconia, cubic zirconia, is synthesized in various colours for use as a gemstone and a diamond simulant. The main use of zirconia is in the production of hard ceramics, such as in dentistry, with other uses including as a protective coating on particles of titanium dioxide pigments, as a refractory material, in insulation, abrasives, and enamels. The main use of zirconia is in the production of hard ceramics, such as in dentistry, with other uses including as a protective coating on particles of titanium dioxide pigments,as a refractory material, in insulation, abrasives, and enamels. This material is also used in dentistry in the manufacture of subframes for the construction of dental restorations such as crowns and bridges, which are then veneered with a conventional feldspathic porcelain for aesthetic reasons, or of strong, extremely durable dental prostheses constructed entirely from monolithic zirconia, with limited but constantly improving aesthetics.

zirconium
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