Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effects of hydrothermal treatment on four types of monolithic, translucent, yttria-stabilized, tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (Y-TZPs).
Methods and Materials: Two commercially available Y-TZP brands—SuperfectZir High Translucency (Aidite Technology Co, China) and Katana HT (Kuraray Noritake Dental, Japan) were assessed. For each brand of Y-TZP, materials of four coloring types, including noncolored (NC), colored by staining (CS), precolored (PC), and multilayered (ML) specimens were investigated after hydrothermal aging in an autoclave at 134°C/0.2 MPa for 0 (control group), 5, 10, and 20 hours. The tetragonal-to-monoclinic phase transformation, surface roughness, flexural strength, and structural reliability (Weibull analysis) were measured and statistically analyzed (α=0.05). The subsurface microstructure was analyzed with scanning electron microscopy.
Results: The group ML exhibited the lowest flexural strength and Weibull characteristic strength among the four coloring types (p<0.05). Slight increases in the monoclinic phase volume, flexural strength, and Weibull characteristic strength were observed after hydrothermal aging (pall<0.05). Regardless of coloring type, no significant effects of aging on the Weibull modulus or surface roughness were found for the tested materials. Compared with the Katana HT cross-sections, the SuperfectZir High Translucency cross-sections exhibited a similar but thicker transformation zone.
Conclusions: The coloring procedure and material type were found to affect the mechanical properties and aging resistance of translucent monolithic Y-TZP ceramics. Regardless of the aging time, the surface roughness of the tested Y-TZP ceramics remained unchanged.