The development of various dental glass-ceramic materials and the evolution of novel processing technologies lead to an essential change in the clinical and technical workflow. The long-term success of a dental restoration treatment is defined by its durability, which is directly influenced by the oral environment. This study's purpose was to evaluate the artificial aging behavior of nanostructured, respective microstructured ceramics related to surface topography, roughness, and optical properties. Six monolithic restoration materials were selected: milled lithium disilicate glass-ceramic (LDS-M) MT (medium translucency), hot-pressed lithium disilicate glass-ceramic (LDS-P) MT and HT (high translucency), milled zirconia-reinforced lithium silicate ceramic (ZLS-M) MT and hot-pressed zirconia-reinforced lithium silicate ceramic (ZLS-P) MT and HT, resulting n = 96 surfaces. All the samples were artificially aged by thermal cycling, and all investigations were made before and after thermal cycling. In terms of optical properties, differences recorded between ZLS and LDS ceramics are not significant. Thermal cycling increases the translucency of ZLS and LDS glass-ceramic materials significantly, with the most harmful effect on the pressed and polished samples. Micro- and nano roughness are significantly influenced by in vitro aging and a negative correlation was recorded. Glazed samples are characterized by significant rougher surfaces for all types of materials. On nanolevel, ZLS materials are significantly smoothed by thermal cycling.
Keywords: glass-ceramic; optical properties; roughness; surface topography; thermal cycling.