Computable translucency as a function of thickness in a multi-layered zirconia

J Prosthet Dent. 2019 Apr;121(4):683-689. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2018.08.013. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


Statement of problem: Determining the relationship between variable thicknesses and the translucency of dental ceramics is essential for optimizing esthetics in different clinical situations.

Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro study was to analyze the relationship between layer thickness and translucency of 2 multi-layered monolithic zirconia materials and to develop an equation by which the grade of translucency can be calculated dependent on the materials' layer thicknesses in advance.

Material and methods: Two semisintered multi-layered zirconia blanks, namely KATANA Zirconia Super Translucent Multi-Layered Disk (Noritake Dental Supply Co, Ltd) and Zirconia Ultra Translucent Multi-Layered Disk (UTML) (Noritake Dental Supply Co, Ltd), were sectioned (N=96) to separate the 4 layers (n=12 per layer): enamel layer, transition layer 1, transition layer 2, body layer. All specimens were sintered in a furnace (M2 Plus; Thermo-Star) at 1500°C for 2 hours and automatically polished under water cooling up to P2400 for the thicknesses of 1.6, 1.3, 1.0, 0.7, and 0.4 mm. Transmittance of visible light was measured using a spectrophotometer (Lambda 35; Perkin Elmer). Data were analyzed using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov, 2-way ANOVA, and Scheffé post hoc tests (α=.01) and curve fitting.

Results: Analyzing the fitting of the values of the 8 material groups to the linear, exponential, and logarithmic curves, 7 of the 8 groups (not UTML body layer) fitted the most (R-square value closer to 1.0) to the logarithmic curve. Constants were obtained from the distance to the x-axis and the curvature.

Conclusions: The methodology of this study provided the materials' specific constants a and b by analyzing the translucency behavior of KATANA Super Translucent Multi-Layered Disk and Ultra Translucent Multi-Layered Disk in different thicknesses, allowing further translucency calculation by applying the developed formula and the constants.

MeSH terms

  • Ceramics
  • Dental Materials*
  • Dental Porcelain
  • Esthetics, Dental*
  • Materials Testing
  • Surface Properties
  • Zirconium


  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Porcelain
  • Zirconium
  • zirconium oxide