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Effect of various treatment and glazing (coating) techniques on the roughness and wettability of ceramic dental restorative surfaces
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Surface treatment procedures such as grinding and polishing are needed to provide the ceramic dental restorative materials with proper fitting and occlusion. The treated surfaces are customarily glazed to improve the strength and smoothness. Though smoothness and wetting of the dental surfaces are important to minimize bacterial plaque retention, influence of the surface treatment and glazing procedures on the final surface roughness and its correlation to wettability are overlooked. In this work, effect of various treatment (diamond fraising, stoning, sanding and aluminum oxide and rubber polishing) and glazing (auto and overglazing) techniques on the final roughness and the resulting wettability of dental ceramic surfaces were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations and atomic force microscopy (AFM) scans, 75 scans per sample. The surfaces were characterized and assigned an average roughness measure, Ra. The wettability of the same surfaces was evaluated using micro-contact angle measurements (25 micro-bubbles placed on a grid on each surface) to correlate the final surface roughness and wettability. The results show that overglazing prevails over surface irregularities from different treatment procedures and provides homegeneously smooth surfaces with mean Ra < 10 nm. It also produces uniformly wetted surfaces with low contact angles around 20°. The autoglazed surfaces are less smooth (mean Ra around 50 nm) and displays sporadic topographic irregularities. They display larger and less uniform contact angles ranging between 35° and 50°. The results suggest that overglazing should be preferred after surface treatment to obtain a smooth and well-wetted dental ceramic surface.