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Dent Mater. 2012 Feb;28(2):160-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Influence of veneer thickness on residual stress profile in veneering ceramic: measurement by hole-drilling.

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Department of Fixed Prosthodontics, Institute of Dentistry, University of Liège Hospital (ULg CHU), 45 Quai G. Kurth, Liège 4020, Belgium.



The veneering process of frameworks induces residual stresses and can initiate cracks when combined with functional stresses. The stress distribution within the veneering ceramic as a function of depth is a key factor influencing failure by chipping. This is a well-known problem with Yttria-tetragonal-zirconia-polycrystal based fixed partial dentures. The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of veneer thickness on the stress profile in zirconia- and metal-based structures.


The hole-drilling method, often used for engineering measurements, was adapted for use with veneering ceramic. The stress profile was measured in bilayered disc samples of 20 mm diameter, with a 1 mm thick zirconia or metal framework. Different veneering ceramic thicknesses were performed: 1 mm, 1.5 mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm and 3 mm.


All samples exhibited the same type of stress vs. depth profile, starting with compressive at the ceramic surface, decreasing with depth up to 0.5-1.0 mm from the surface, and then becoming compressive again near the framework, except for the 1.5 mm-veneered zirconia samples which exhibited interior tensile stresses. Stresses in the surface of metal samples were not influenced by veneer thickness. Variation of interior stresses at 1.2 mm from the surface in function of veneer thickness was inverted for metal and zirconia samples.


Veneer thickness influences in an opposite way the residual stress profile in metal- and in zirconia-based structures. A three-step approach and the hypothesis of the crystalline transformation are discussed to explain the less favorable residual stress development in zirconia samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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