Scientific article
Open access

Strength-limiting damage and defects of dental CAD/CAM full-contour zirconia ceramics

Published inDental materials, vol. 40, no. 4, p. 653-663
Publication date2024-04
First online date2024-02-06

Objective: This study aimed to compare the four-point flexural strength of CAM-milled and sintered (as-sintered, AS) specimens with those of high-polished (HP) specimens using chairside polishing systems to simulate clinical surface conditions.

Methods: Seven full-contour zirconia CAM/CAM blanks with various yttria contents (3, 4, 5 mol%) including three high-translucent groups (5Y) were selected to prepare flexural specimens. The bend bar specimens (2.0 × 4.0 × 25.0 mm3) were fabricated by using STL file and dental CAM machine with the respective zirconia blanks (98 mm ϕ and 10–14 mm in height). Twelve bar specimens were machined from one zirconia puck and a total of 24 specimens were prepared from each group. The pre-sintered bar specimens were sintered by using a dental zirconia furnace at 1530–1550 ◦C for 2 h according to the instructions. All sintered specimens were divided into two groups: as-sintered (AS) group and high-polished (HP) groups (n = 12). HP groups were subjected to polishing one surface of specimens using a three-step polishing system and finally finished with diamond polishing. After cleaning and drying, the flexural strength of all specimens was determined by a fully articulating four-point flexure fixture consisting of a 1/4-point test configuration with an inner/outer span of 10/20 mm. Statistical differences between AS and HP groups were conducted with Weibull analysis. The fractured surfaces of zirconia specimens were observed using a field emission SEM and EDS to detect failure origins.

Results: The mean AS flexural strength values were significantly lower than those of HP counterparts. However, Weibull moduli expressing the reliability of HP groups were generally decreased although not significantly in comparison to their AS. The fracture of the AS specimens mostly originated from extrinsic CAM-milling defects, while the HP specimens were fractured from intrinsic subsurface or volume defects including pores, large grain clusters, inclusions, and corner-located critical flaws. Two high-translucent (5Y) zirconia groups were not affected in their strength and reliability after polishing, whereas one 5Y zirconia significantly increased its strength but significantly lowered its reliability.

Significance: The extrinsic and intrinsic strength-limiting defects should be considered in evaluating the flexural strength and reliability of dental CAD/CAM zirconia ceramics for full-contour restorations. For the materials tested in this study, more optimized processing of blanks and milling protocols of pre-sintered zirconia blanks should be developed including post-sintering surface finishing to reduce the flaw population regulating strength and reliability which will affect the survivability of dental zirconia prostheses.

  • Damage
  • Flexural strength
  • Four-point flexure
  • Fractography
  • Fracture origin
  • Milling defects
  • Yttria
  • Zirconia
Citation (ISO format)
KWON, Young-Seok et al. Strength-limiting damage and defects of dental CAD/CAM full-contour zirconia ceramics. In: Dental materials, 2024, vol. 40, n° 4, p. 653–663. doi: 10.1016/j.dental.2024.02.003
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0109-5641

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Creation06/12/2024 2:42:50 PM
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