Colour stability of three modern ceramic materials after repeated firing
Background Shade matching is a challenging aspect of aesthetic dentistry (Vichi et al., 2011). For a long time, aesthetically pleasing prostheses have been achieved using the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown whereby the metal is masked with an opaque layer and then consecutive layers of veneering ceramic are built up (McLean, 1979). The growing popularity of all-ceramic restorations has created a need for an understanding of its colour characteristics in preference to porcelain fused to metal restorations. The study aims to assist dental technicians in making a more informed decision when choosing an all-ceramic system in terms of colour stability. Objectives The objectives were to identify colour changes of the zirconia after each firing cycle and defining if there are any microstructural changes in the zirconia cores after subsequent firing. Methods This is a quantitative study with a sample size of eighteen which was used for each experimental group. Green state zirconia blocks from Cercon (Dentsply DeguDent, USA), Lava (3M ESPE,USA), and Zirkon Zahn (Zirkonzahn Gmbh, Bruneck, Italy) were trimmed, finished and sintered to a final thickness of 0.5mm according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Each sample group was obtained directly from the manufacturer. In each group, nine specimens were shaded and nine were unshaded. The colour of each specimen was recorded before being exposed to firing cycles. This data formed the control group. All specimens were subjected to three firings and spectrophotometer reading. After each firing, SEM analysis was done after one and three firings. There was a total of thirty six specimens x three firings; n = 108. The raw data for the statistical analysis was obtained from the spectrophotometer readings recorded after the firings (n=108). The data of the study was analyzed using the SPSS version 22.0. The data were compared among the three groups using Pearsons chi square tests, where the data of the firings were measured as a binary or nominal variable, and using t-tests where a measured normally distributed variable was compared. The general linear model (GLM) looked at combinations of the variables and their effects on the dependant variable. The Multivariate tests table indicates the actual result of the one-way MANOVA. Results The Cercon results for both the control and experimental groups reveal the same result patterns and was maintained before and after firing. Lava also revealed the same results before and after firing, however, the cores in the control group differed in colour. The Zirkon Zahn system proved to be the least stable in colour. Conclusion This study supports the hypothesis that colour differences would occur relative to the number of firings for shaded zirconia. It can be concluded that Cercon displayed the most stable results in terms of colour. The acumen gained in this study may better assist dental technicians in their selection of an all-ceramic zirconia system.