Evaluation of the Surface Roughness and Morphologic Features of Y-TZP Ceramics after Different Surface Treatments

Andrea N. Cavalcanti, Peter Pilecki, Richard Mark Foxton, Timothy F. Watson, Marcelo Tavares Oliveira, Marcelo Gianinni, Giselle M. Marchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effect of different energy intensities of the Er:YAG laser and of air abrasion with Al2O3 particles on the surface roughness and morphologic characteristics of yttrium-stabilized tetragonal zirconia (Y-TZP) ceramics. Background Data: Surface roughness enhances the micromechanical interlocking of luting agents to ceramic surfaces. However, the most appropriate surface treatment for Y-TZP ceramics has yet to be determined. Materials and Methods: Two Y-TZP materials were evaluated: Cercon Smart Ceramics and Procera Zirconia. Thirty plates from each ceramic material were randomly divided into five groups according to the surface treatment received (none [control], air abrasion, or irradiation with the Er:YAG laser at three different energy intensities [200, 400, or 600 mJ]). After the surface treatments, the ceramic plates were gold-coated and their surface roughness (Ra, mu m) was measured using confocal microscopy. For each ceramic system, the surface roughness was analyzed through two-way ANOVA/Tukey's test, with a 5% significance level. Changes in the morphological characteristics of the ceramics were examined through light and scanning electron microscopy. Results: For both zirconia-based materials, irradiation with 400 mJ or 600 mJ increased surface roughness and provided significant morphological changes. Air-abraded Cercon surfaces were rougher compared to the ones irradiated with 200 mJ of laser energy, whereas Procera surfaces irradiated with 200 mJ were rougher than the air-abraded ones. Conclusions: Higher laser power settings (400 and 600 mJ) cause excessive material deterioration, making them unsuitable as surface treatments for zirconia surfaces. Irradiation with 200 mJ provides mild surface alterations, with intermediary features between the effects of air abrasion and higher laser intensities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473 - 479
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009


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