This study examined the influence of cariogenic environments on the surface roughness of ion-releasing restorative materials (IRMs). Custom-made stainless steel molds with holes of 5 mm × 2mm were used to fabricate 60 disc-shaped specimens of each of the following materials: Activa Bioactive (AV), Beautifil Bulk Restorative (BB), Cention N (Bulk-fill) (CN), and Filtek Z350XT (FZ) (Control). Baseline surface roughness (Ra) measurements were obtained using an optical 3D measurement machine (Alicona Imaging GmbH, Graz, Austria). The specimens were then randomly divided into five subgroups (n=12) and exposed to 10 ml of the following mediums at 37°C: distilled water (DW), demineralization solution (DM), remineralization solution (RM), pH cycling (PC) and air (AR) (control). Ra measurements were again recorded after one week and one month, followed by statistical evaluations with two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to determine interactions between materials and mediums. One-way ANOVA and post hoc Games Howell tests were performed for intergroup comparisons at a significance level of 0.05. Mean Ra values ranged from 0.085 ± 0.004 (µm) to 0.198 ± 0.001 µm for the various material-medium combinations. All IRMs showed significant differences in Ra values after exposure to the aqueous mediums. The smoothest surfaces were observed in the AR for all materials. When comparing materials, AV presented the roughest surfaces for all mediums. All IRM materials showed increased surface roughness over time in all cariogenic environments but were below the threshold value for bacterial adhesion, except for AV 1-month post immersion with pH cycling. Therefore, besides AV, the surface roughness of IRMs did not deteriorate to an extent that it is clinically relevant.

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