Dr. Christian Stappert, an Assistant Professor of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, has been awarded seven grants totaling $310,000 from Nobel Biocare for research that will help predict the clinical performance of alumina and zirconia ceramic restorations. Dr. Stappert is the principal investigator on all seven grants.
Although more aesthetically pleasing than restorations made from metal, alumina and zirconia restorations are more prone to fracture, specifically by chipping of the veneering porcelain, motivating Dr. Stappert to investigate in greater depth.
Fundamental research on ceramic materials for crown restorations was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Dianne Rekow, Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology and Senior Vice Provost for Engineering and Technology at NYU, and Dr. Van Thompson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, coprincipal investigators on a $5.9 million NIH grant that examined the causes of ceramic fractures. Based on that research, Dr. Stappert uses accelerated life testing, a process that simulates oral fatigue by chewing, to develop lifetime predictions on the clinical successes of all-ceramic, implant-supported abutments, crowns, and three-unit bridges made from alumina and zirconia veneered with various porcelains.
"Accelerated life testing uses a mouth-motion chewing simulator to apply varying levels of repeated loads on the specimens until cracks develop," explained Dr. Stappert, who aims to link his findings with a subsequent clinical trial involving NYUCD patients.