Clinical Relevance

The clinician should consider the polymerization shrinkage stress when selecting a composite resin for posterior restorations. The use of post-gel shrinkage values should guide the selection of a composite resin for posterior teeth.



The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the method used for calculation of polymerization shrinkage, total or post-gel, on the shrinkage stress of conventional and bulk-fill composite resins for restoring endodontically treated teeth using finite element analysis.

Methods and Materials:

Four composite resins were tested for post-gel shrinkage (P-Shr) by the strain-gauge test and total shrinkage (T-Shr) using an optical method (n=10). Two conventional composite resins, Filtek Z350 XT (3M-ESPE; Z350) and TPH3 Spectrum (Dentsply; TPH3) and two bulk-fill composite resins. Filtek Bulk-Fill Posterior (3M-ESPE; POST) SureFil SDR flow (Dentsply; SDR) were tested. Elastic modulus (E), diametral tensile strength (DTS), and compressive strength (CS) were also determined (n=10). The residual shrinkage stress was evaluated by finite element analysis with four restorative techniques: incremental with Z350 and TPH3; SDR/TPH3 (two bulk increments of 4 mm and two occlusal increments); and two bulk increments of 5 mm for POST. Data for P-Shr, T-Shr, E, DTS, and CS were analyzed by analysis of variance and Tukey's test (α=0.05), and residual shrinkage was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively by the modified von Mises criteria.


SDR had the lowest CS values, POST and TPH3 had similar and intermediate values, and Z350 had the highest CS. TPH3 and Z350 had similar DTS values and values higher than SDR. Z350 and POST had higher P-Shr, and SDR had lower T-Shr. T-Shr resulted in higher shrinkage stress than P-Shr values. SDR/TPH3 resulted in higher shrinkage stress when using T-Shr and lower values when using the P-Shr value.


T-Shr resulted in higher stress in the enamel and in root dentin close to the pulp chamber than P-Shr values. The selection of the T-Shr or P-Shr changed the ranking of the shrinkage stress of the tested composite resin.

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