Flexural strength and crystalline stability of a monolithic translucent zirconia subjected to grinding, polishing and thermal challenges

Raisa Hintz De Souza, Marina R. Kaizer, Carolina Elisa Pereira Borges, Ana Beatriz Franco Fernandes, Gisele Maria Correr, Alysson Nunes Diógenes, Yu Zhang, Carla Castiglia Gonzaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to investigate the magnitude of structural degradation of a monolithic translucent zirconia caused by clinically relevant grinding and polishing procedures, when associated or not with low temperature degradation (LTD), induced by accelerated hydrothermal aging using autoclave or thermocycling. Ninety disks (Ø12 × 1 mm) were prepared from dental zirconia for monolithic restorations (Vipi Block Zirconn Translucent, Vipi). The specimens were divided into 3 groups (n = 30) according to surface treatment: As Sintered (untreated), Grind (diamond bur), Grind + Polish (diamond bur + polish); and then subdivided according to aging method (n = 10): Baseline (no aging), Autoclave (134 °C, 2.2 kgf/cm2 pressure for 5 h), and Thermocycling (200,000 cycles, 5 °C and 55 °C, for 15 s each). Roughness, biaxial flexural strength and percentage of monoclinic phase were evaluated. Regarding surface treatment, the Grind group presented higher roughness and greater flexural strength compared to As Sintered group, while Grind + Polish showed intermediate roughness and flexural strength similar to Grind group. Aging had little effect on roughness, but yielded a significant reduction in flexural strength. Tetragonal to monoclinic phase transformation was observed in all groups, caused by both mechanical stresses (grinding and polishing) and LTD, which was similarly induced by the traditional autoclave method, as well as the thermocycling method. The use of diamond burs to grind zirconia surface may result in deleterious effects on the surface quality of monolithic zirconia restorations, yet has a potential toughening effect by phase transformation. However, when zirconia is exposed to LTD, regardless of the surface treatment, degradation of the surface quality and strength are observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26168-26175
Number of pages8
JournalCeramics International
Issue number16 Pt A
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Finishing
  • Mechanical properties
  • Surfaces
  • ZrO2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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