OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of five different polishing systems on a computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) polymer-infiltrated ceramic-network restoration with nanoscale assessment using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and visual assessment performed by dental school senior students and faculty members. METHOD: Forty-eight full coverage crowns were milled out of polymer-infiltrated ceramic-network CAD/CAM blocks (Vita Enamic) for polishing with one company proprietary, two ceramic and two composite polishing systems. The prepared crowns were divided into six groups: (1) no polishing (control); (2) polishing with Vita Enamic Polishing Kit (VEna); (3) polishing with Shofu Porcelain Laminate Polishing Kit (SCer); (4) polishing with Brasseler Dialite Feather lite All-Ceramic Adjusting & Polishing System (BCer); (5) polishing with Shofu Composite Polishing Kit (SCom); and (6) polishing with Brasseler Composite Polishing Kit (BCom). The polished crown surface topography was observed, and surface roughness and area were measured with AFM. In addition, polished crowns were visually assessed by 15 senior dental students and 15 dental school faculty members. RESULTS: All polishing treatments significantly reduced the surface roughness and area of the crown compared with the control. SCom and BCom showed significantly higher surface area than VEna, and the SCer and BCer groups were intermediate, showing no significant difference from either VEna or SCom and BCom. There were no significant differences in surface roughness between any of the systems. Dental students and faculty members classified the groups polished with VEna, SCer, and BCer groups as clinically acceptable, and they selected BCer group as the best polished restorations and the control group as the least polished restorations. CONCLUSIONS: Ceramic and composite polishing systems produced similar polishing results as that observed using a company proprietary polishing system. However, effectiveness for polishing using a company proprietary and ceramic polishing system tends to be higher than composite polishing systems.
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