Monolithic CAD-CAM lithium disilicate versus monolithic CAD-CAM zirconia for single implant-supported posterior crowns using a digital workflow: A 3-year cross-sectional retrospective study

Published online: June 12, 2019


Statement of problem

Dentistry has evolved significantly with the introduction of digital technologies and materials; however, clinical evidence for the performance of the complete digital workflow for single implant–supported posterior crowns is lacking.


The purpose of this cross-sectional retrospective clinical study was to compare the clinical outcomes of 2 types of implant-supported crown used to replace a single missing posterior tooth in a completely digital workflow: transocclusal screw-retained monolithic lithium disilicate crowns versus transocclusal screw-retained monolithic zirconia crowns.

Material and methods

A total of 38 participants who had been provided with dental implants and transocclusal screw-retained monolithic lithium disilicate or zirconia single crowns were evaluated in the study. Clinical and esthetic outcomes were recorded after a 3-year follow-up.


Both groups had comparable clinical outcomes with a survival rate of 100%. In the lithium disilicate group, 89% of the participants were free of technical complications, and 95%, in the zirconia group. Only 1 patient experienced minor chipping affecting a lithium disilicate crown. All complications were considered minor and were easily resolved, and none of the participants required replacement of a crown. No biological complications were recorded in either group.


Within the limitations of this cross-sectional retrospective clinical study, monolithic lithium disilicate and zirconia screw-retained single crowns fabricated using computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) and a fully digital workflow were found to be reliable and suitable clinical options for restoring a posterior missing tooth on a dental implant.
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