Fracture of layered zirconia restorations at 5 years: A dental laboratory survey

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Statement of problem.

The use of ceramic restorations has significantly increased in recent years because of their esthetic properties and the high cost of noble metals. However, given the lack of long-term clinical trials and the limitations of in vitro studies, the durability of ceramic restorations is still questionable.


The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the fracture rate of layered zirconia restorations at up to 5 years of clinical performance by using a dental laboratory survey model.

Material and methods.

Data up to 5 years were collected from 2 commercial dental laboratories. Layered zirconia restorations returned to the laboratory for remaking because of failure (fracture) were identified and included. Restorations were categorized as anterior or posterior. Each category was further divided into complete coverage single crowns (SCs) and multiple unit fixed dental prostheses (FDPs). Fracture rates were compared and analyzed using the chi-square test (α=.05).


A total of 31 594 restoration records were reviewed and included 13 419 anterior restorations (10 134 SCs and 3285 FDPs) and 18 175 posterior restorations (12 810 SCs and 5365 FDPs). The overall fracture rate up to 5 years for all restorations (anterior and posterior) was 3.31%. The fracture rates for anterior restorations were less than for posterior restorations. The fracture rates for anterior SCs were approximately half those of the posterior SC fracture rate, and the combined fracture rate (anterior and posterior) was 3.25%. For FDPs, anterior FDPs fractured at a rate similar to that of posterior FDPs. The combined fracture rate (anterior and posterior FDPs) was 3.47%.


Layered zirconia restorations displayed relatively low fracture rates in the relatively short term of 5 years.

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