Scientific article

Physico-mechanical characteristics of commercially available bulk-fill composites

Published inJournal of dentistry, vol. 42, no. 8, p. 993-1000; 993-1000
Publication date2014-08
First online date2014-05-27

Objectives: Bulk-fill composites have emerged, arguably, as a new "class" of resin-based composites, which are claimed to enable restoration in thick layers, up to 4mm. The objective of this work was to compare, under optimal curing conditions, the physico-mechanical properties of most currently available bulk-fill composites to those of two conventional composite materials chosen as references, one highly filled and one flowable "nano-hybrid" composite.

Methods: Tetric EvoCeram Bulk Fill (Ivoclar-Vivadent), Venus Bulk Fill (Heraeus-Kulzer), SDR (Dentsply), X-tra Fil (VOCO), X-tra Base (VOCO), Sonic Fill (Kerr), Filtek Bulk Fill (3M-Espe), Xenius (GC) were compared to the two reference materials. The materials were light-cured for 40s in a 2mm×2mm×25mm Teflon mould. Degree of conversion was measured by Raman spectroscopy, Elastic modulus and flexural strength were evaluated by three point bending, surface hardness using Vickers microindentation before and after 24h ethanol storage, and filler weight content by thermogravimetric analysis. The ratio of surface hardness before and after ethanol storage was considered as an evaluation of polymer softening. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and post hoc Tukey's test (p=0.05).

Results: The mechanical properties of the bulk-fill composites were mostly lower compared with the conventional high viscosity material, and, at best, comparable to the conventional flowable composite. Linear correlations of the mechanical properties investigated were poor with degree of conversion (0.09<R<0.41) and good with filler content (R>0.8). Softening in ethanol revealed differences in polymer network density between material types.

Conclusion: The reduction of time and improvement of convenience associated with bulk-fill materials is a clear advantage of this particular material class. However, a compromise with mechanical properties compared with more conventional commercially-available nano-hybrid materials was demonstrated by the present work.

Significance: Given the lower mechanical properties of most bulk-fill materials compared to a highly filled nano-hybrid composite, their use for restorations under high occlusal load is subject to caution. Further, the swelling behaviour of some of the bulk-fill materials may be a reason for concern, which highlights the critical requirement for a veneering material, not only to improve aesthetic quality of the translucent material, but to reduce the impact of degradation.

  • Bulk-fill
  • Degree of conversion
  • Dental composite
  • Elastic modulus
  • Flexural strength
  • Microhardness
  • Polymer network density
  • Composite Resins / chemistry
  • Dental Materials / chemistry
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Ethanol / chemistry
  • Hardness
  • Humans
  • Light-Curing of Dental Adhesives / methods
  • Materials Testing
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Methacrylates / chemistry
  • Nanocomposites / chemistry
  • Pliability
  • Polymerization
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Thermogravimetry
  • Time Factors
  • Viscosity
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
LEPRINCE, Julian Grégoire et al. Physico-mechanical characteristics of commercially available bulk-fill composites. In: Journal of dentistry, 2014, vol. 42, n° 8, p. 993–1000. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2014.05.009
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0300-5712

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