Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Research and Education| Volume 126, ISSUE 1, P129.e1-129.e7, July 2021

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Effect of sintering and aging processes on the mechanical and optical properties of translucent zirconia


      Statement of problem

      Sintering holding times and aging conditions may affect the optical, mechanical, and structural properties of polychromatic multitranslucent zirconia. However, a consensus on the ideal sintering condition for this material is lacking.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to investigate the effect of different sintering holding and autoclave aging times on the flexural strength (FS), grain size, and translucency parameter (TP00) of a translucent zirconia.

      Material and methods

      Sixty bar-shaped and 60 rectangular-shaped specimens were prepared from computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) zirconia blocks and split into 2 groups to be sintered at 1550 °C for different holding times (regular: 2 hours, prolonged: 5 hours). The specimens were then divided into 3 subgroups and subjected to aging processes (control, aging for 60 minutes, aging for 120 minutes). FS values were obtained by using a 3-point bend test and Weibull analysis was conducted. Grain size evaluations were performed by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations. TP00 was measured with a spectrophotometer. Statistical evaluation included the Kolmogorov-Smirnov, 2-way ANOVA, and Tukey HSD tests (α=.05).


      The sintering procedure, aging, and their interaction significantly influenced the TP00 (P<.05). FS values and grain sizes were affected by aging only (P<.001). Both aging times resulted in reduced FS and increased grain sizes. Prolonged sintering in combination with 120 minutes of aging negatively affect the TP00 scores (P<.05).


      FS values were similar under regular and prolonged sintering. Prolonged sintering led to a decrease in translucency after 120 minutes of aging. Steam autoclave aging can affect the optical and mechanical properties of translucent zirconia.
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