Glass ceramics are important restorative materials in dentistry. They are used as veneer-core bilayer all-ceramic or metal-fused ceramic restorations or monolithic inlays/onlays/crowns to replace missing or damaged tooth structures for aesthetic and functional purposes. However, glass ceramic materials, such as feldspar and leucite glass ceramics, which are subject to this investigation, are brittle and easily induced microfractures in abrasive cutting using dental handpieces and coarse burs. In this paper, we investigated the dental abrasive cutting characteristics of feldspar and leucite glass ceramics using a high-speed electric handpiece and coarse diamond burs. Cutting forces, specific removal energy, surface roughness and morphology were investigated as functions of specific material removal rate and maximum undeformed chip thickness. The results indicate that increasing the specific material removal rate or the maximum undeformed chip thickness resulted in increases in both tangential and normal forces, but a decrease in specific removal energy for both ceramics. Tangential, normal forces and specific removal energy were significantly larger in up cutting than those in down cutting. Surface roughness for the two ceramics was not affected by the specific removal rate or the maximum undeformed chip thickness. Both microfrature and ductile microcutting morphology were observed in the machined surfaces for both ceramics. There existed a brittle to ductile transition trend when decreasing the specific material removal rate or the maximum undeformed chip thickness for the two ceramics. In comparison with feldspar glass ceramic, leucite glass ceramic generated better surfaces due to its more ductile deformation occurring in dental cutting.

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