All-ceramic restorations have had a more limited life expectancy than metal ceramic crowns be-cause of their lower strength. The relatively lower strength has limited the use of all-ceramic crowns to the areas where occlusal loads are lower Therefore many researches have been done to increase the strength of all-ceramic crowns. IPS Empress 2 is a new type of lithium disilicate glass-ceramic with enhanced physical characteristics which has been in use clinically since 1998. Previous researches reported that the flexural strength of all-ceramic material was greater than 300 MPa, and all-ceramic crowns can be used in staining or layering technique. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of the thickness of IPS Empress 2 ceramic on fracture strength. Both staining technique and layering technique was investigated. Vita VMK was used as control. For all three groups, five specimens each of 0.8mm, 1.0mm, 1.4mm, 1.8mm, and 2.2mm thick-ness (a total of 75 specimens) were prepared. Control group : Vita VMK Porcelain specimens were prepared with dentine ceramic and liquid glazing was done. Group I : IPS Empress 2 were prepared with staining technique and stained twice and glazed once. Group II : IPS Empress 2 were prepared with layering technique and glazed after wash firing. The thickness and diameter of the specimen were measured and controlled after specimen preparation. Biaxial Flexure Test (ASTM Standard F394-78) was adopted as this test method produces results least affected by the edge condition of the specimens. Fracture strength was measured with Instron Universal Testing Machine. Conclusions are as follow : 1. The fracture strength was increase in order of control group, test group I, test group II. 2. Fracture strength of the group I (Empress 2 Staining) was 65.54 N in 0.8mm, 155.2 N in 1.0mm, 233.5 N in 1.4mm, 434.5 N in 1.8mm, and 600.1 N in 2.2mm. 3. Fracture strength of the group II (Empress 2 Layering) was 190.0 N in 0.8mm, 283.5 N in 1.0mm. 437.2 N in 1.4mm, 732.0 N in 1.8mm, and 1115.0 N in 2.2mm. 4. No statistical difference was found in flexural strengths according to thickness in a specified group(p>0.05).
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