Bulk-fill composite resins may have comparable mechanical properties to conventional composite resin. Preheating does not reduce the mechanical properties of composite resins.
Bulk-fill composite resins are increasingly used for direct restorations. Preheating high-viscosity versions of these composites has been advocated to increase flowability and adaptability. It is not known what changes preheating may cause on the mechanical properties of these composite resins. Moreover, the mechanical properties of these composites after mastication simulation is lacking.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of fatiguing and preheating on the mechanical properties of bulk-fill composite resin in comparison to its conventional counterpart.
One hundred eighty specimens of Filtek One Bulk Fill Restorative (FOBR; Bulk-Fill, 3M ESPE) and Filtek Supreme Ultra (FSU; Conventional, 3M ESPE) were prepared for each of the following tests: fracture toughness (International Organization for Standardization, ISO 6872), diametral tensile strength (No. 27 of ANSI/ADA), flexural strength, and elastic modulus (ISO Standard 4049). Specimens in the preheated group were heated to 68°C for 10 minutes and in the fatiguing group were cyclically loaded and thermocycled for 600,000 cycles and then tested. Two-/one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey Honest Significant Difference (HSD) post hoc test was used to analyze data for statistical significance (α=0.05).
Preheating and fatiguing had a significant effect on the properties of both FSU and FOBR. Fracture toughness increased for FOBR specimens when preheated and decreased when fatigued (p=0.016). FOBR had higher fracture toughness value than FSU. Diametral tensile strength decreased significantly after fatiguing for FSU (p=0.0001). FOBR had a lower diametral tensile strength baseline value compared with FSU (p=0.004). Fatiguing significantly reduced the flexural strength of both FSU and FOBR (p=0.011). Preheating had no effect on the flexural strength of either FSU or FOBR. Preheating and fatiguing significantly decreased the elastic modulus of both composite resins equally (p>0.05).
Preheating and fatiguing influenced the mechanical properties of composite resins. Both composites displayed similar mechanical properties. Preheating did not yield a major negative effect on their mechanical properties; the clinical implications are yet to be determined.