Evaluation of marginal and internal gaps of all-ceramic crowns using X-ray micro-computed tomography

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Noparat Thongpun
Nathamon Thongbai-on
Phira Sithiamnuai
Kallaya Suputtamongkol


Many dental ceramics are commercially available for the fabrication of dental fixed prostheses. The variation in processing and composition of these ceramics could affect the marginal discrepancy of all-ceramic dental prostheses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the marginal and internal adaptation of lithia-disilicate-based all-ceramic posterior crowns fabricated by heat-pressing and computer-aided designed and manufacturing (CAD-CAM) techniques.

Materials and methods: Three lithia-disilicate-based dental ceramics were used in this study (VINTAGE LD Press, IPS e.max Press and IPS e.max CAD). A complete coverage preparation on a posterior upper first molar crown was made on an Ivorine dentoform tooth. Forty type IV gypsum plaster dies were fabricated for use in four experimental groups. For Group 1 and 2, the die plaster models and a wax-up were used to make ten posterior crowns for VINTAGE LD Press and IPS e.max Press as monolithic crowns using a heat-pressing technique. Ten posterior crowns were made for IPS e.max CAD using a CAD-CAM technique for Group 3. For Group 4, ten posterior molar substructures were also made using IPS e.max CAD and veneered with IPS e.max Ceram using a conventional condensation and sintering technique. All ceramic crowns were affixed to their corresponding dies using a silicone material. Micro-computed tomography (Micro-CT) was used to analyze marginal and internal fit of each ceramic crown. The differences between the mean gap widths of all experimental groups were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric test at a significance level of .05.

Results: The median marginal gap widths of all groups were not significantly different and these values were within an acceptable limit at 120 µm. For internal gap widths, IPS e.max® Press crowns had a significant lower internal gap width than those of the other three remaining groups. IPS e.max® CAD veneered with IPS e.max® Ceram had marginal and internal gap widths comparable to those of IPS e.max® CAD monolithic crowns.

Conclusions: The marginal and internal adaptation of lithia-disilicate-based all-ceramic posterior crowns fabricated by a heat-pressing procedure was as good as those fabricated from the CAD-CAM technique. The micro-CT analysis was a useful analytical technique for internal and interfacial studies of dental prostheses and materials.


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Thongpun N, Thongbai-on N, Sithiamnuai P, Suputtamongkol K. Evaluation of marginal and internal gaps of all-ceramic crowns using X-ray micro-computed tomography. M Dent J [Internet]. 2016 Dec. 23 [cited 2023 Nov. 30];37(1):55-61. Available from: https://he02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/mdentjournal/article/view/180032
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