This review presents a critical survey of all experimental data about the low temperature degradation of zirconia (often referred to as "aging") due to the tetragonal-to-monoclinic transformation, which have been collected at temperatures of interest for dental application (room temperature to about 100 °C). It is shown that the main factors affecting the aging phenomenon are (i) the stabilizer type and content, (ii) the residual stress and (iii) the grain size. It is also shown that extrapolating the low temperature degradation rate from accelerated aging tests can lead to unacceptable conclusions about the lifetime of the zirconia-based components. Finally, based on the experimental evidence, a set of engineering guidelines for the use of zirconia in restorative and prosthetic dentistry is proposed. © 2010 Academy of Dental Materials.
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