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. 2016 Aug;116(2):269-76.
doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2015.08.030. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

Composition, Phase Analysis, Biaxial Flexural Strength, and Fatigue of Unshaded Versus Shaded Procera Zirconia Ceramic


Composition, Phase Analysis, Biaxial Flexural Strength, and Fatigue of Unshaded Versus Shaded Procera Zirconia Ceramic

Panagiota-Eirini Spyropoulou et al. J Prosthet Dent. .


Statement of the problem: Recent interest in shaded zirconia has raised questions about the relative stability of the tetragonal phase after colorant oxide additions.

Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the effects of fatigue cycling on the stability of a commercially available dental zirconia (Procera) in both unshaded and shaded compositions by measuring the change in biaxial flexural strength (BFS) after 500 000 cycles at 80-N loads and in phase composition as detected by x-ray diffraction (XRD).

Material and methods: Partially stabilized zirconia disks (NobelProcera) were fabricated in unshaded and shaded forms (12 mm diameter × 0.8 mm thick). Specimens were analyzed by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and by wavelength-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (WDS) for oxide compositions which indicated the presence of small amounts of Fe-O (0.13 ±0.10 wt %) in the shaded specimens. XRD focused on the tetragonal (T) and monoclinic (M) peaks in the 20 to 40 degrees 2θ range. The disks were polished on 1 side, cyclically loaded (80N, 500 000 cycles, custom 4-station fatigue test machine), and tested for residual BFS after cycling. Unshaded (U) and shaded groups (S) were compared before (U1, S1) and after (U2, S2) load cycling with XRD and residual BFS.

Results: Residual BFS (MPa) for specimens before (U1=856 ±99 versus S1= 842 ±40) and after fatigue (U2=772 ±65 versus S2= 718 ±68) were statistically different (U1 versus U2; S1 versus S2; U2 versus S2, P<.05). The XRD of U1 and S1 specimens revealed tetragonal and cubic zirconia. U2 and S2 specimens contained tetragonal zirconia, with the initial appearance of small amounts of monoclinic zirconia after fatigue cycling. Monoclinic detection was measured on the tension side of the tested specimens and varied between tests at the center and radially at 4 mm.

Conclusions: The results indicated shaded materials more readily transform the tetragonal to the monoclinic phase during load cycling than unshaded ones. However, extrapolating the effects of any shortening of the service life of zirconia compositions is difficult. The potential mitigating effects of other factors such as the thermal postprocessing of porcelain veneers, stains on zirconia, or effects of water have yet to be investigated.

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