Tooth substance removal for ceramic single crown materials—an in vitro comparison

  • Franz Sebastian SchwindlingEmail author
  • Moritz Waldecker
  • Peter Rammelsberg
  • Stefan Rues
  • Wolfgang Bömicke
Original Article



The aim of this in vitro study was to compare the tooth structure removal required for currently available ceramic crown materials.

Material and methods

Ninety typodont teeth (60 incisors, 30 molars) were assigned to nine study groups. The teeth were digitized, weighed with a high-precision balance, and fixed in carriers in identical alignment. Full-crown restorations were prepared according to material-specific guidelines for monolithic zirconia (MZ), polymer-infiltrated ceramics (PIC), buccally veneered zirconia (BVZ), feldspathic ceramics (FC), fully veneered zirconia (FVZ), and lithium disilicate (LD). Tooth structure removal was assessed by weighing the teeth before and after preparation. Coronal volume loss was analyzed statistically by use of one-way ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey HSD tests with α = 0.05.


Mean tooth structure removal for incisors was 42% (SD 2%) for MZ, 46% (SD 1%) for PIC, 50% (SD 2%) for BVZ, 57% (SD 1%) for FC, 57% (SD 2%) for FVZ, and 59% (SD 2%) for LD. Mean tooth structure removal for molars was 21% (SD 2%) for MZ, 31% (SD 1%) for PIC, and 35% (SD 1%) for LD. Inter-group differences were statistically significant, except for between FC and FVZ.


Preparation of full ceramic crowns for restoration-free teeth is an invasive procedure. Selecting the ceramic material can, however, reduce loss of tooth structure substantially.

Clinical relevance

Monolithic zirconia is the least invasive material for the preparation of incisor and molar ceramic single crowns. Prescribing buccally veneered instead of fully veneered zirconia reduces preparation invasiveness significantly.


Ceramic crowns Preparation design Tooth substance removal Minimally invasive procedures 



English language correction was performed by Hazel Davies, copy editor. Sebastian Schwindling was supported by the Physician Scientist Program of the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg.


The work was supported by the Department of Prosthodontics of Heidelberg University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ProsthodonticsUniversity Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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