Evaluating dental zirconia

Yu Zhang, Brian R. Lawn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: To survey simple contact testing protocols for evaluating the mechanical integrity of zirconia dental ceramics. Specifically, to map vital material property variations and to quantify competing damage modes. Methods: Exploratory contact tests are conducted on layer structures representative of zirconia crowns on dentin. Results: Sharp-tip micro- and nano-indentations were used to investigate the roles of weak interfaces and residual stresses in veneered zirconia, and to map property variations in graded structures. Tests with blunt sphere indenters on flat specimens were used to identify and quantify various critical damage modes in simulated occlusal loading in veneered and monolithic zirconia. Significance: Contact testing is a powerful tool for elucidating the fracture and deformation modes that control the lifetimes of zirconia dental ceramics. The advocated tests are simple, and provide a sound physical basis for analyzing damage resistance of anatomically-correct crowns and other complex dental prostheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalDental Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Dental prostheses
  • Fatigue
  • Fracture mode
  • Indentation
  • Translucency
  • Zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Dentistry
  • Mechanics of Materials


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