ObjectiveTo evaluate the surface topography and optical properties of monolithic zirconia after immersion in simulated gastric acid.Materials and methodsFour partially stabilized (PSZ) and one fully stabilized (FSZ) zirconia materials were selected for the study: Prettau (PRT, Zirkonzahn), Zenostar (ZEN, Ivoclar), Bruxzir (BRX, Glidewell), Katana (KAT, Noritake) and FSZ Prettau Anterior (PRTA, Zirkon-zahn). IPS e.max (Ivoclar) was used as a control. The specimens (10 x 10 x 1.2 mm, n = 5 per material) were cut, sintered, polished and cleaned before immersed in 5 ml of simulated gastric acid solution (Hydrochloric acid (HCl) 0.06M, 0.113% solution in deionized distal water, pH 1.2) for 96 h in a 37 degrees C incubator. Specimens were weighed and examined for morphological changes under scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Surface roughness was evaluated by a confocal microscope. Surface gloss and translucency parameter (TP) values were determined by a reflection spectrophotometer before and after acid immersion. The data was analyzed by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey's HSD post hoc test (p < 0.05).ResultsPRTA displayed the most weight loss (1.40%) among the zirconia specimens. IPS e.max showed about three times more weight loss (3.05%) than zirconia specimens as an average. SEM examination indicated areas of degradation, bead-like shapes and smoothening of the polishing scratches after acid immersion. EDX displayed ion interactions and possible ion leaching from all specimens. S-a and S-q values for PRTA, ZEN and IPS e.max were significantly lower (p < 0.05) after acid immersion. TP values increased significantly for PRT, ZEN and IPS e.max (p < 0.05), while the surface gloss of ZEN, PRTA and IPS e.max increased( p < 0.05). SignificanceMonolithic zirconia materials show some surface alterations in an acidic environment with minimum effect on their optical properties. Whether a smoother surface is in fact a sign of true corrosion resistance or is purely the result of an evenly progressive corrosive process is yet to be confirmed by further research.