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Volume 30 , Issue 6
November/December 2015

Pages 1272–1279

Stiffness, Strength, and Failure Modes of Implant-Supported Monolithic Lithium Disilicate Crowns: Influence of Titanium and Zirconia Abutments

Tim Joda, DMD, MSc/Alexander Bürki, MSc/Stefan Bethge, DMD/Urs Brägger, DMD/Philippe Zysset, PhD

PMID: 26574852
DOI: 10.11607/jomi.3975

Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate stiffness, strength, and failure modes of monolithic crowns produced using computer-aided design/computer-assisted manufacture, which are connected to diverse titanium and zirconia abutments on an implant system with tapered, internal connections. Materials and Methods: Twenty monolithic lithium disilicate (LS2) crowns were constructed and loaded on bone level–type implants in a universal testing machine under quasistatic conditions according to DIN ISO 14801. Comparative analysis included a 2 × 2 format: prefabricated titanium abutments using proprietary bonding bases (group A) vs nonproprietary bonding bases (group B), and customized zirconia abutments using proprietary Straumann CARES (group C) vs nonproprietary Astra Atlantis (group D) material. Stiffness and strength were assessed and calculated statistically with the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Cross-sections of each tested group were inspected microscopically. Results: Loaded LS2 crowns, implants, and abutment screws in all tested specimens (groups A, B, C, and D) did not show any visible fractures. For an analysis of titanium abutments (groups A and B), stiffness and strength showed equally high stability. In contrast, proprietary and nonproprietary customized zirconia abutments exhibited statistically significant differences with a mean strength of 366 N (Astra) and 541 N (CARES) (P < .05); as well as a mean stiffness of 884 N/mm (Astra) and 1,751 N/mm (CARES) (P < .05), respectively. Microscopic cross-sections revealed cracks in all zirconia abutments (groups C and D) below the implant shoulder. Conclusion: Depending on the abutment design, prefabricated titanium abutment and proprietary customized zirconia implant-abutment connections in conjunction with monolithic LS2 crowns had the best results in this laboratory investigation.

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