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Microhardness and fracture toughness of dental materials by indentation method
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The main objective of this study was to measure the fracture toughness of the human teeth enamel using the microindentation technique and to compare the results calculated from the equations developed for Palmqvist and radial-median cracks. Vickers microhardness measurements of dental ceramic (alumina) and human teeth were performed using indentation fracture method. The fracture toughness of enamel was calculated using different equations reported in the literature. Vickers microhardness of the sintered alumina specimen (98.8% theoretical density) was measured to be 14.92 GPa under 9.8N indentation load. Three equations based on the radial-median cracks were found to be applicable for the fracture toughness determination of the enamel. Results show that indentation fracture method is adequate to measure microhardness and fracture toughness of dental materials. However the calculation of fracture toughness depended on the nature of the cracks and also on the location of the indentation. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the crack profile and to select the appropriate equation for accurate fracture toughness values.