A Narrative Review on Polycrystalline Ceramics for Dental Applications and Proposed Update of a Classification System

Ernesto B. Benalcázar-Jalkh, Edmara T.P. Bergamo, Tiago M.B. Campos, Paulo Coelho, Irena Sailer, Satoshi Yamaguchi, Larissa M.M. Alves, Lukasz Witek, Sérgio M. Tebcherani, Estevam A. Bonfante

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Dental zirconias have been broadly utilized in dentistry due to their high mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Although initially introduced in dentistry as an infrastructure material, the high rate of technical complications related to veneered porcelain has led to significant efforts to improve the optical properties of dental zirconias, allowing for its monolithic indication. Modifications in the composition, processing methods/parameters, and the increase in the yttrium content and cubic phase have been presented as viable options to improve zirconias’ translucency. However, concerns regarding the hydrothermal stability of partially stabilized zirconia and the trade-off observed between optical and mechanical properties resulting from the increased cubic content remain issues of concern. While the significant developments in polycrystalline ceramics have led to a wide diversity of zirconia materials with different compositions, properties, and clinical indications, the implementation of strong, esthetic, and sufficiently stable materials for long-span fixed dental prostheses has not been completely achieved. Alternatives, including advanced polycrystalline composites, functionally graded structures, and nanosized zirconia, have been proposed as promising pathways to obtain high-strength, hydrothermally stable biomaterials. Considering the evolution of zirconia ceramics in dentistry, this manuscript aims to present a critical perspective as well as an update to previous classifications of dental restorative ceramics, focusing on polycrystalline ceramics, their properties, indications, and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7541
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • alumina
  • fixed dental prostheses
  • prosthodontics
  • restorative ceramics
  • zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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