The purpose of this paper was to update the knowledge concerning the wear, translucency, as well as clinical performance of monolithic zirconia ceramics, aiming at highlighting their advantages and weaknesses through data presented in recent literature. New ultra-translucent and multicolor monolithic zirconia ceramics present considerably improved aesthetics and translucency, which, according to the literature reviewed, is similar to those of the more translucent lithium disilicate ceramics. A profound advantage is their high strength at thin geometries preserving their mechanical integrity. Based on the reviewed articles, monolithic zirconia ceramics cause minimal wear of antagonists, especially if appropriately polished, although no evidence still exists regarding the ultra-translucent compositions. Concerning the survival of monolithic zirconia restorations, the present review demonstrates the findings of the existing short-term studies, which reveal promising results after evaluating their performance for up to 5 or 7 years. Although a significant increase in translucency has been achieved, new translucent monolithic zirconia ceramics have to be further evaluated both in vitro and in vivo for their long-term potential to preserve their outstanding properties. Due to limited studies evaluating the wear properties of ultra-translucent material, no sound conclusions can be made, whereas well-designed clinical studies are urgently needed to enlighten issues of prognosis and long-term survival.
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