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Volume 20 , Issue 6
November/December 2007

Pages 587–595

Chemical Solubility and Flexural Strength of Zirconia-Based Ceramics

John Chai, BDS, MS, MJ, DLaw, FHKAM(Dental Surgery)/Frederick C. S. Chu, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRACDS, FHKAM(Dental Surgery)/Tak W. Chow, BDS, MSc, PhD, DRDRCS, FRACDS, FHKAM(Dental Surgery)/Bernard M. H. Liang, MEng

PMID: 18069366

Purpose: This study was undertaken to investigate the chemical solubility and flexural strengths of 3 zirconia-based dental ceramics: In-Ceram Zirconia (IZ), In-Ceram 2000 YZ CUBES (YZ Zirconia) (Vita Zahnfabrik), and Cercon (Dentsply). A pressable lithium disilicate–reinforced glass ceramic (IPS Empress 2, Ivoclar Vivadent) was used as a control. Materials and Methods: Ten block specimens (12 × 6 × 4 mm) of each ceramic material were prepared for chemical solubility testing. Each specimen was refluxed in 4% acetic acid solution for 16 hours. The percentage loss of mass and the loss of mass per unit of surface area for each specimen were calculated. Ten bar-shaped (21 × 5 × 2 mm) and 10 disk-shaped (16 mm diameter, 1.2 mm thickness) specimens of each ceramic material were prepared and tested for uniaxial flexural strength (UFS) and biaxial flexural strength (BFS). X-ray diffraction analyses were conducted to determine the relative amount of the monoclinic phase of the as-sintered and fractured surfaces of the zirconia ceramics. Results: There were no significant differences among the ceramics in chemical solubility by percentage mass or mass/surface area. For UFS, YZ Zirconia (899 ± 109 MPa) > Cercon (458 ± 95 MPa) IZ (409 ± 60 MPa) > Empress 2 (252 ± 36 MPa). For BFS, YZ Zirconia (1,107 ± 116 MPa) > Cercon (927 ± 146 MPa) > IZ (523 ± 51 MPa) > Empress 2 (359 ± 43 MPa). The fractured YZ Zirconia surface contained approximately 5 times as much monoclinic phase compared to that of its intact surface. The fractured IZ and Cercon surfaces contained approximately twice as much monoclinic phase compared to those of intact surfaces. Conclusion: The ceramics tested all satisfied the chemical solubility allowance required of core ceramic material (type I, Class 1 or type II, Class 1) according to the International Organization for Standardization 6872:1995(E) specifications on dental ceramic. The zirconia-based ceramics possessed significantly higher flexural strengths than the control lithium disilicate ceramic. Their clinical application appears sufficiently promising for long-term clinical studies to be undertaken. Int J Prosthodont 2007;20:587–595.

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