Objectives: To evaluate the effects of framework design and layering material on the fracture strength of implant-supported zirconia-based molar crowns.
Material and methods: Sixty-six titanium abutments (GingiHue Post) were tightened onto dental implants (Implant Lab Analog). These abutment-implant complexes were randomly divided into three groups (n = 22) according to the design of the zirconia framework (Katana), namely, uniform-thickness (UNI), anatomic (ANA), and supported anatomic (SUP) designs. The specimens in each design group were further divided into two subgroups (n = 11): zirconia-based all-ceramic restorations (ZAC group) and zirconia-based restorations with an indirect composite material (Estenia C&B) layered onto the zirconia framework (ZIC group). All crowns were cemented on implant abutments, after which the specimens were tested for fracture resistance. The data were analyzed with the Kruskal-Wallis test and the Mann-Whitney U-test with the Bonferroni correction (α = 0.05).
Results: The following mean fracture strength values (kN) were obtained in UNI design, ANA design, and SUP design, respectively: Group ZAC, 3.78, 6.01, 6.50 and Group ZIC, 3.15, 5.65, 5.83. In both the ZAC and ZIC groups, fracture strength was significantly lower for the UNI design than the other two framework designs (P = 0.001). Fracture strength did not significantly differ (P > 0.420) between identical framework designs in the ZAC and ZIC groups.
Conclusions: A framework design with standardized layer thickness and adequate support of veneer by zirconia frameworks, as in the ANA and SUP designs, increases fracture resistance in implant-supported zirconia-based restorations under conditions of chewing attrition. Indirect composite material and porcelain perform similarly as layering materials on zirconia frameworks.
Keywords: dental implant; fracture strength; framework design; indirect composite material; zirconia ceramics.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.