Mechanical testing of thin-walled zirconia abutments

Luigi Canullo, Paulo G. Coelho, Estevam A. Bonfante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the use of zirconia abutments for implant-supported restorations has gained momentum with the increasing demand for esthetics, little informed design rationale has been developed to characterize their fatigue behavior under different clinical scenarios. However, to prevent the zirconia from fracturing, the use of a titanium connection in bicomponent aesthetic abutments has been suggested. Objective: Mechanical testing of customized thin-walled titanium-zirconia abutments at the connection with the implant was performed in order to characterize the fatigue behavior and the failure modes for straight and angled abutments. Material and Methods: Twenty custom-made bi-component abutments were tested according to ISO 14801:2007 either at a straight or a 25° angle inclination (n = 10 each group). Fatigue was conducted at 15 Hz for 5 million cycles in dry conditions at 20°C±5°C. Mean values and standard deviations were calculated for each group. All comparisons were performed by t-tests assuming unequal variances. The level of statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Failed samples were inspected in a polarized-light and then in a scanning electron microscope. Results: Straight and angled abutments mean maximum load was 296.7 N and 1,145 N, the dynamic loading mean Fmax was 237.4 N and 240.7 N, respectively. No significant differences resulted between the straight and angled bi-component abutments in both static (p=0.253) and dynamic testing (p=0.135). A significant difference in the bending moment required for fracture was detected between the groups (p=0.01). Fractures in the angled group occurred mainly at the point of load application, whereas in the straight abutments, fractures were located coronally and close to the thinly designed areas at the cervical region. Conclusion: Angled or straight thin-walled zirconia abutments presented similar Fmax under fatigue testing despite the different bending moments required for fracture. The main implication is that although zirconia angled or straight abutments presented similar mechanical behavior, the failure mode tended to be more catastrophic in straight (fracture at the cervical region) compared to angled abutments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Oral Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Dental implant-abutment design
  • Dental implants
  • Fatigue
  • Zirconium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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