By Univ.-Prof. Dr. Florian Beuer MME
There is still some confusion among dental practitioners about how to cement zirconia restorations. In general, all types of cements – adhesive or self-adhesive resin cements and conventional cements – are compatible with all types of zirconia. The actual choice should be based on the restoration design (retentive or non-retentive), the translucency of the zirconia and the clinical situation (feasibility of working field isolation).
When to use which type of cement
The use of adhesive resin cements is mandatory whenever the highest possible bond strength is required. This is the case with one-wing Maryland bridges and other types of restorations lacking micromechanical retention, and with two-piece implant abutments.
In some other situations where retention is not an issue, adhesive or self-adhesive resin cements may have a beneficial effect. The major reason is their more esthetic appearance compared to conventional cements, which offers advantages whenever a highly translucent restorative material is used (e.g. KATANA Zirconia UTML). An important precondition for adhesive luting, however, is a dry working field. Consequently, conventional cements are preferable in the context of placing crowns, bridges and other types of restorations with retentive designs whenever opaque zirconia framework materials are used and / or it is difficult to ensure a dry working field.
How to pre-treat the tooth and the restoration
The highest bond strength of adhesive resin cements to zirconia is obtained after sandblasting with alumina (particle size max. 50 µm, pressure approx. 1 bar). Hence, this procedure is highly recommended. Subsequent steps may be different depending on the cement system employed and should be carried out according to the manufacturer’s instructions for use. On the side of the tooth, enamel etching is important independent of the products used.
Which products to use
In each of the cement classes, there are many different products to choose from. My recommendation is to select a proven and easy-to-use luting material. Among those products achieving the same high bond strength, the solution requiring the fewest application steps seems preferable as it reduces the risk of application errors. At Charité – University Medicine Berlin, we count on PANAVIA cements, which are based on many years of expertise in developing products for adhesive luting of zirconia.
PROF. DR. FLORIAN BEUER
Professor and Chair, Department of Prosthodontics, Geriatric Dentistry and Craniomandibular Disorders, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.