Author(s): Curtis AR, Wright AJ, Fleming GJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the current study was to examine the influence of simulated masticatory loading regimes, to which all-ceramic crown or bridge restorations will routinely be subjected during their service-life, on the performance of a yttria-stabilised tetragonal zirconia polycrystalline (Y-TZP) dental ceramic. METHODS: Ten sets of 30 Y-TZP ceramic discs (13 mm diameter, 1.48-1.54 mm thickness) supplied by the manufacturer were randomly selected. Six groups were loaded for 2000 cycles at 500 N (383-420 MPa), 700N (536-588 MPa) and 800 N (613-672 MPa) with three groups maintained dry and the remaining three groups loaded while immersed in water at 37+/-1 degrees C. A further two groups underwent extended simulated masticatory loading regimes at 80 N (61-67 MPa) for 10(4) and 10(5)cycles under dry conditions. The mean bi-axial flexure strengths, standard deviations and associated Weibull moduli (m) were determined. The surface hardness was also determined using the Vickers hardness indentation technique. RESULTS: No significant difference (P>0.05) was identified in the bi-axial flexure strength of the simulated masticatory loading regimes and the control specimens loaded dry or wet. A significant increase in m was identified for the Y-TZP specimens following loading while immersed in water (8.6+/-1.6, 8.5+/-1.6 and 10.3+/-1.9) compared with the control (7.1+/-1.3). However, the extended loading regime to 10(5)cycles resulted in a significant reduction in the m of the Y-TZP specimens (5.3+/-1.0) compared with the control. Localised areas of increased surface hardness were identified to occur directly beneath the spherical indenter. CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of localised areas of increased surface hardness could be the result of either a transformation toughening mechanism or crushing and densification of the material beneath the indentor manifested as the formation of a surface layer of compressive stresses that counteracted the tensile field generated at the tip of a propagating crack which increased the Weibull modulus of the Y-TZP specimens. The reduced reliability of the Y-TZP specimens loaded to 80 N for 10(5)cycles was associated with the accumulation of subcritical damage as a result of the extended nature of loading.
This article was published in J Dent
and referenced in Dentistry