December 1, 2017
Dr. Diana Cuesta, a second-year resident in the College of Dentistry’s Advanced Prosthodontics program, was selected by the American College of Prosthodontists Education Foundation (ACPEF) and the ACP Research Committee as a recipient of the ACPEF Research Fellowship Grant.
Her grant application was titled, "Effect of Implant Abutment Material, Ceramic Thickness and Luting Cement on the Color of Lithium Disilicate Crowns."
Cuesta is working on the research project under the mentorship of Dr. Ghadeer Thalji, clinical associate professor, Restorative Dentistry.
The current research on the topic of lithium disilicate (e.max) crowns, Cuesta said, “suggests that the color of underlying tooth structure – such as dark endodontically treated teeth or teeth with metal post and cores – can affect the color of the overlying e.max crowns. Therefore, it is expected that the color of different implant abutment materials, such as zirconia, titanium, and gold hue, will also affect the overlying ceramic color.”
Her research aims to find which of these implant abutment materials results in the most clinically acceptable color outcome of lithium disilicate crowns, and whether the ceramic thickness or luting agent can be used to mask the underlying abutment color.
“Lithium disilicate can be easily milled to fabricate implant crowns, and here in the college we frequently use this material both in the predoctoral and postdoctoral programs,” Cuesta said. “The goal is for the study to provide new information that can help guide our clinical decision making when choosing to use lithium disilicate as a restorative material for implants—especially in the esthetic zone.
“It’s an honor for me to be a recipient of this grant,” she said. “It will allow me to complete my master’s thesis project and, I hope, to provide new insights for the field of prosthodontics. It is without a doubt a reflection of the hard work and dedication of my faculty in the prosthodontics department and the support of the college in general.”