Purpose: To evaluate the shear bond strength (SBS) of different digital veneering techniques for zirconia and to critically discuss its suitability for application in single-implant prosthetics.
Materials and methods: A total of 112 square-shaped zirconia specimens were provided with four different veneering materials (n = 28 per group): a glass-ceramic (group GLA), a feldspathic ceramic (group FEL), a polymer-infiltrated ceramic network (group PIC), and a resin nanoceramic (group RNC). Discs in group GLA were sintered onto the core material, whereas all other specimens were adhesively connected. In each group, 14 specimens (GLA0, FEL0, PIC0, RNC0) were subjected to SBS testing before thermocycling, and the other 14 (GLA1, FEL1, PIC1, RNC1) were tested after thermocycling (10,000 cycles). Data were analyzed by applying SPSS software (P < .05). The surfaces and fracture patterns of the specimens were examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Results: Mean SBS values ranged from 14.09 ± 3.87 MPa (RNC1) to 40.82 ± 4.91 MPa (GLA0). Group GLA presented higher values than all other groups (P < .001). Groups FEL, PIC, and RNC showed no statistically significant differences between them. SBS decreased after thermocycling, but no significant impact was found. Every group exhibited a characteristic failure mode.
Conclusion: All digital veneering techniques sufficed to present clinically acceptable SBS values and might be viable alternatives in implant prosthetics. However, some have yet to demonstrate their long-term clinical suitability. At present, lithium disilicate-veneered zirconia abutments and monolithic lithium disilicate hybrid abutment crowns seem to present a proven and reliable restorative option.