This study compares the physical properties and clinical performance of short fiber reinforced composites (SFRC) to those of particulate-filled resin-based composites (PFRC) for class I and II direct restorations in permanent dentition.
Systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted using PubMed, Embase (Elsevier), and Dentistry and Oral Sciences Source (EBSCO) databases. The outcomes evaluated were physical properties including flexural strength, flexural modulus, elastic modulus, microhardness, shrinkage, fracture toughness, degree of conversion, and depth of cure. Clinical performance was evaluated with a systematic review.
The meta-analyses favored SFRC for flexural strength and fracture toughness compared to every PFRC subgroup, with a high quality of evidence. For all other properties, the meta-analyses favored SFRC to overall PFRC, with some non-significant differences with certain PFRC subgroups. The most recent clinical trial showed SFRC performed similarly to PFRC, however older studies suggest inferior surface texture and discoloration of SFRC compared to PFRC.
This study can aid dental professionals in clinical decision making, supporting that SFRC offers improved physical properties, especially fracture resistance and flexural strength, compared to PFRC.