Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Clinical trials in zirconia: a systematic review

Journal of Oral Rehabilitation

Published Online: 9 Apr 2010

Clinical trials in zirconia: a systematic review
B. AL-AMLEH, K. LYONS & M. SWAIN

ABSTRACT

Summary Zirconia is unique in its polymorphic crystalline makeup, reported to be sensitive to manufacturing and handling processes, and there is debate about which processing method is least harmful to the final product. Currently, zirconia restorations are manufactured by either soft or hard-milling processes, with the manufacturer of each claiming advantages over the other. Chipping of the veneering porcelain is reported as a common problem and has been labelled as its main clinical setback. The objective of this systematic review is to report on the clinical success of zirconia-based restorations fabricated by both milling processes, in regard to framework fractures and veneering porcelain chipping. A comprehensive review of the literature was completed for in vivo trials on zirconia restorations in MEDLINE and PubMed between 1950 and 2009. A manual hand search of relevant dental journals was also completed. Seventeen clinical trials involving zirconia-based restorations were found, 13 were conducted on fixed partial dentures, two on single crowns and two on zirconia implant abutments, of which 11 were based on soft-milled zirconia and six on hard-milled zirconia. Chipping of the veneering porcelain was a common occurrence, and framework fracture was only observed in soft-milled zirconia. Based on the limited number of short-term in vivo studies, zirconia appears to be suitable for the fabrication of single crowns, and fixed partial dentures and implant abutments providing strict protocols during the manufacturing and delivery process are adhered to. Further long-term prospective studies are necessary to establish the best manufacturing process for zirconia-based restorations.

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