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Strength and fracture toughness of zirconia dental ceramics used in implant dentistry. How reliable is zirconia as abutment, prosthetic framework, crown and implant material” based on in vitro and in vivo studies

Yttria stabilized zirconia ceramic is a perfect biocompatible material used in restorative dentistry over 15 years. Its success is mainly due to the discovery of its phase transformation toughening effect when stressed. Its high strength and high toughness among the ceramics has opened the door to a multitude of clinical restorative applications from full contour ceramic framework to abutments and implants. Newer more translucent zirconias are on the market. It is therefore critical to understand this material in terms of processing, grinding, machining and sandblasting surface treatments, strength, toughness, reliability and fatigue behavior. Zirconia remains a brittle material and fractures are part of clinical experiences made for veneered zirconia crowns and bridges, zirconia framework, abutments and implants. This presentation will provide a thorough understanding of the material science but also illustrate clinical and processing errors based on failure analyses regarding zirconia restorations used in implantology and prosthetic dentistry.


Susanne S. Scherrer


Susanne S. Scherrer, is Associate Professor (2015), Head of Biomaterials (2017) and Director of the Continuing Education (2016) at the University Clinic of Dental Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland. She got her DDS (1984), Doctoral thesis (1986) and PD thesis (2003) from the University of Geneva. She has held the function of President of the Dental Materials Group of the IADR (2001-02) and President of the Academy of Dental Materials (2002-04). She is an IADR Distinguished Scientist Wilmer Souder award (2014) and Fellow of the Academy of Dental Materials (2012) and Academy of Prosthodontics (2017). Her general interest is all-ceramic materials, survival and fractographic failure analysis.

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