Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Research Article| Volume 103, ISSUE 4, P210-220, April 2010

The effect of zirconia surface treatment on flexural strength and shear bond strength to a resin cement

      Statement of problem

      Despite the expanded applications for zirconia in restorative dentistry, there is no clear recommendation in the literature regarding surface treatment before bonding.


      The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of mechanical surface treatment of yttria-partially stabilized zirconia on its flexural strength and the effect of mechanical and chemical surface treatments on its bond strength to a resin cement.

      Material and methods

      For flexural strength evaluation, zirconia bars (4 × 5 × 40 mm) were prepared from zirconia blocks, finished using a diamond rotary cutting instrument, sintered, then assigned into 4 groups: (1) control (no treatment), (2) airborne-particle abrasion, (3) silicoating, and (4) wet hand grinding. After storage for 24 hours at 37°C, flexural strength was determined using a 3-point bending test, and the results were analyzed using 1-way ANOVA (α=.05). For shear bond strength evaluation, zirconia rods (2.5 × 3 mm) were prepared from zirconia blocks, sintered, and assigned into 16 groups. Each group underwent a combination of the following mechanical and chemical treatments. Mechanical treatment included: (1) control (no treatment), (2) airborne-particle abrasion, (3) silicoating, or (4) wet hand grinding. Chemical treatment included: (1) control (no treatment), (2) acid etching followed by silanation, (3) silanation only, or (4) application of zirconia primer. Dentin specimens were prepared from extracted molars stored in 0.5% chloramine-T. Zirconia rods were bonded to dentin using a resin cement (Multilink Automix), then light polymerized. After storage, the specimens were loaded to failure with the notched shear bond test method in a universal loading apparatus. For artificial aging analysis, the groups that achieved the highest bond strength values were duplicated, stored at 37°C and 100% humidity for 90 days, and thermal cycled before being loaded to failure. Results were analyzed using 2-way ANOVA (α=.05).


      Airborne-particle abrasion and hand grinding significantly increased flexural strength. The highest shear bond strength values were achieved for the following groups: silicoated + silanated > hand ground + zirconia primer > airborne-particle abraded + silanated > zirconia primer > airborne-particle abraded + zirconia primer. Artificial aging resulted in significantly lower shear bond strength for the silicoated/silanated and the zirconia primer groups.


      Mechanical modification of the surface increased the flexural strength of Y-TZP. The resin bond to Y-TZP was improved by surface treatment. A combination of mechanical and chemical conditioning of the zirconia surface was essential to develop a durable resin bond to zirconia. (J Prosthet Dent 2010;103:210-220)
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