Effect of thickness and surface modifications on flexural strength of monolithic zirconia.

Research paper by Fusun F Ozer, Andrew A Naden, Volkan V Turp, Francis F Mante, Deniz D Sen, Markus B MB Blatz

Indexed on: 19 Oct '17Published on: 19 Oct '17Published in: Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry


A recommended minimum thickness for monolithic zirconia restorations has not been reported. Assessing a proper thickness that has the necessary load-bearing capacity but also conserves dental hard tissues is essential.The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the effect of thickness and surface modifications on monolithic zirconia after simulated masticatory stresses.Monolithic zirconia disks (10 mm in diameter) were fabricated with 1.3 mm and 0.8 mm thicknesses. For each thickness, 21 disks were fabricated. The specimens of each group were further divided into 3 subgroups (n=7) according to the surface treatments applied: untreated (control), airborne-particle abrasion with 50-μm Al2O3 particles at a pressure of 400 kPa at 10 mm, and grinding with a diamond rotary instrument followed by polishing. The biaxial flexure strength was determined by using a piston-on-3-balls technique in a universal testing machine. Flexural loading was applied with a 1.4-mm diameter steel cylinder, centered on the disk, at a crosshead speed of 0.5 mm/min until fracture occurred. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses were performed. The data were statistically analyzed with 2-way ANOVA, Tamhane T2, 1-way ANOVA, and Student t tests (α=.05).The 1.3-mm specimens had significantly higher flexural strength than the 0.8-mm specimens (P<.05). Airborne-particle abrasion significantly increased the flexural strength (P<.05). Grinding and polishing did not affect the flexural strength of the specimens (P>.05).The mean flexural strength of 0.8-mm and 1.3-mm thick monolithic zirconia was greater than reported masticatory forces. Airborne-particle abrasion increased the flexural strength of monolithic zirconia. Grinding did not affect flexural strength if subsequently polished.