Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Research and Education|Articles in Press

Translucency and flexural strength of translucent zirconia ceramics


      Statement of problem

      Translucent zirconias have been developed with better esthetics than high-strength zirconias by reducing opacity. However, studies on their translucency and strength are sparse.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to compare the relationship between translucency and biaxial flexural strength of recently developed high-translucency zirconia, high-strength zirconia, and lithium disilicate ceramics.

      Material and methods

      Disks (n=12) were fabricated for 5 ceramic materials: high-strength zirconia (BruxZir 16 shaded), translucent zirconia (BruxZir Anterior shaded, Katana UTML, Katana STML), and lithium disilicate (IPS e.max, Press HT, and LT). A standard tessellation language (STL) file was designed, and the specimen milled, finished, and glazed according to manufacturer's instructions for each material. The translucency parameter was calculated against black and white backgrounds and white and stump shade with ND4 background by using a spectrophotometer. Biaxial flexural strength was calculated by using the 3-ball test. The load was applied at a crosshead speed of 0.5 mm/min with a 49-N load cell until failure occurred. Translucency parameter and biaxial flexural strength data were analyzed with 1-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). A Tukey honest significant difference multiple comparison test was used to determine significant differences (α=.05).


      The IPS e.max HT was more translucent against both backgrounds (32.85 for black/white and 15.34 for white/stump), while BruxZir 16 was the least translucent (19.78 for B/W and 8.83 for W/S). All groups tested differed in translucency (P<.001) except for BruxZir Anterior and Katana STML, which were not significantly different (P=.052). For biaxial flexural strength, BruxZir 16 had the highest strength (995.44 MPa) and e.max HT, the lowest (186.75 MPa). No significant differences were found between BruxZir anterior and Katana STML, Katana UTML and IPS e.max LT, or IPS e.max LT and IPS e.max HT (P>.05). Translucency parameter values using both backgrounds were strongly correlated (r=0.99). However, biaxial flexural strength values were inversely related to translucency parameter values when using black/white and white/stump shade but with high correlation (r=-0.777 and -0.756 respectively).


      Lithium disilicate was the most translucent and yet the weakest material, whereas high-strength zirconia was the most opaque ceramic and the strongest. Katana UTML had the highest translucency but was weakest among translucent and high-strength zirconia materials. Overall, translucency was negatively correlated with biaxial flexural strength.
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