Influence of implant abutment material and ceramic thickness on optical properties

J Prosthet Dent. 2018 May;119(5):819-825. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2017.05.015. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


Statement of problem: Anterior shade matching is an essential factor influencing the esthetics of a ceramic restoration. Dentists face a challenge when the color of an implant abutment creates an unsatisfactory match with the ceramic restoration or neighboring teeth.

Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the influence of abutment material and ceramic thickness on the final color of different ceramic systems.

Material and methods: Four experimental and control ceramic specimens in shade A3 were cut from IPS e.max CAD, IPS Empress CAD, and VITA Suprinity PC blocks. These specimens had thicknesses of 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm, and 2.5 mm, respectively, for the experimental groups, and 4 mm for the controls. Background abutment specimens were fabricated to yield 3 different shades: white zirconia, yellow zirconia, and titanium at a 3-mm thickness. All 3 ceramic specimens in each thickness were placed in succession on different abutment backgrounds with glycerin optical fluid in between, and the color was measured. A digital spectrophotometer was used to record the specimen color value in the Commission Internationale De L'éclairage (CIELab) color coordinates system and to calculate the color difference (ΔE) between the control and experimental groups. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to analyze the effect of ceramic thickness on different abutments, and the pair-wise test was used to evaluate within the group (α=.05).

Results: The color differences between the test groups and the control decreased with increasing ceramic thickness for every background material. In every case, significant differences were found between 1.0- and 2.5-mm ceramic thicknesses. Only certain 2.5-mm e.max CAD, VITA Suprinity PC, and Empress CAD specimens on yellow-shade zirconia or VITA Suprinity PC on titanium were identified as clinically acceptable (ΔE<3).

Conclusions: Increasing ceramic restoration thickness over the abutment background decreased the color mismatch. Increasing the thickness of ceramic on a yellow-shaded zirconia abutment rather than on titanium or white zirconia yielded a more esthetic color for the whole restoration.

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Ceramics / chemistry*
  • Color*
  • Dental Abutments*
  • Dental Materials / chemistry*
  • Dental Porcelain
  • Esthetics, Dental
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Materials Testing
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium / chemistry
  • Zirconium / chemistry


  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Dental Materials
  • IPS e.max CAD LT
  • IPS-Empress ceramic
  • VITA Suprinity
  • Dental Porcelain
  • Zirconium
  • Titanium
  • zirconium oxide