Purpose: To evaluate the biaxial flexural strength of different porcelain-to-zirconia thickness ratios and bonding strategies of a stress-free bilayer CAD/CAM ceramic system.
Materials and methods: A total of 60 zirconia discs (diameter: 15 mm; thickness: 0.3 or 0.5 mm; n = 30 for each thickness) were divided into six groups (n = 10 each) according to porcelain-to-zirconia ratio and bonding strategy: VM/Zr (control): zirconia discs veneered with a feldspathic ceramic (VM 9, Vita) in 0.9-mm and 0.7-mm thicknesses using a conventional hand-layering technique; VB/Zr-SBU: zirconia discs airborne particle-abraded with 50-μm Al2O3 particles followed by an MDP primer application (Single Bond Universal, 3M) and bonded to the porcelain with a resin cement (Panavia F 2.0, Kuraray); and VB/Zr-RC: zirconia discs airborne particle-abraded with 30-μm silica-coated Al2O3 particles and silanized and bonded to the porcelain with the same resin cement. Before cementation, the VB (Vitablocs II) discs were etched with 5% hydrofluoric acid (60 seconds), followed by silane application. The bilayers (thickness = 1.2 mm) were loaded with 750 g while light curing the resin cement. Two porcelain-to-zirconia thickness ratios were evaluated: 0.9: 0.3 mm and 0.7: 0.5 mm. All groups were subjected to 106 mechanical cycles, followed by a biaxial flexural test. Data (MPa) were subjected to two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukey test (5%), and Weibull analyses.
Results: Two-way ANOVA revealed that the factor porcelain-to-zirconia ratio (P = .0556) was not significant; however, the bonding strategy factor was statistically significant. Among the 0.5-mm zirconia groups, the VB/Zr-SBU group presented higher flexural strength (s) than the VM/Zr or VB/Zr-RC groups. Similar results were also found for the 0.3-mm zirconia groups, in which the VB/Zr-SBU group also presented higher strength than the others, which were similar in comparison (Tukey). The Weibull modulus was similar among the groups; however, the characteristic strength was significantly different (P = .000).
Conclusion: The zirconia bonding strategy with 50-μm Al2O3 airborne-particle abrasion, followed by a primer application, increases the flexural strength of a stress-free bilayer CAD/CAM ceramic system.