A new critical summary of a 2010 systematic review by Al-Amleh et al on zirconium use in dentistry is now available from the ADA Centre for evidence based dentistry.
The summariser notes that three types of zirconium ceramics are currently used in dentistry. The original review’s aim was evaluate these restorations in relation to framework fracture and veneering porcelain chipping, and which milling method yields the best results. They also higlighted that the review was limited to English and important methodological details regarding data abstraction and quality assessment were not detailed. Of the 17 included studies only 3 were randomised controlled trials . Only two papers had a follow up period of 5 years.
The review found that porcelain chipping is an ongoing problem with all-ceramic restorations but zirconia is suitable for single crowns, fixed partial dentures (FPD), and implant abutments but is not recommended for inlay-retained FPDs and cantilever FPDs. However, this is based on a small number of studies of limited quality so the data should be viewed with caution.
Al-Amleh B, Lyons K, Swain M. Clinical trials in zirconia: a systematic review. J Oral Rehabil. 2010 Aug;37(8):641-52. Epub 2010 Apr 9. Review. PubMed PMID: 20406352.