How does the piston material affect the in vitro mechanical behavior of dental ceramics?

Kátia R. Weber, Paula Benetti, Álvaro Della Bona, Pedro H. Corazza, Juliana A. Medeiros, Ediléia Lodi, Márcia Borba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Statement of problem: Variables involving the indication, manufacturing, and clinical use of ceramic restorations make the standardization of in vitro studies a challenge and raise questions as to the clinical validity of the resulting data. Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro study was to assess the effect of piston material on the fracture behavior of ceramics tested under compressive load. 

Material and methods: Two ceramics were evaluated: a lithium disilicate–based glass-ceramic (D) and a feldspathic porcelain (P). Plate-shaped ceramic specimens (1.5-mm thick) were adhesively cemented onto a dentin analog substrate. The specimens from each ceramic were divided into 4 groups according to the piston material (n=20): metal (M) (stainless steel), composite resin (R) (NEMA-G10, fiber-reinforced epoxy resin), ceramic (C) (lithium disilicate–based glass-ceramic), and human tooth (T) (canine). A gradual compressive load (0.5 mm/min) was applied to the center of the specimen with a universal testing machine. The test was performed in 37°C distilled water, and the initial crack was detected by using an acoustic system. The fracture load values (N) were statistically analyzed with the Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn tests (α=.05). A finite element analysis (FEA) was also performed. 

Results: Piston material had no influence on fracture load and failure mode of ceramic D. Ceramic P showed higher fracture load values when loaded with the composite resin piston. Ceramic P showed more combined failures (cone crack and radial crack) than D. The FEA showed a distinct stress distribution for R piston on P. Pistons C and T resulted in similar stress distribution, fracture load, and failure mode for both ceramics. 

Conclusions: The effect of piston material on the ceramic fracture behavior depends on the ceramic being evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-754
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Issue number5
Early online date15 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


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