The aim of this study was to evaluate interfacial gap formation of CAD/CAM lithium disilicate inlay margins before and after thermomechanical loading.

Methods and Materials: Mesio-occlusal-distal cavities were prepared on 12 extracted mandibular molars. The gingival margin of one proximal box was elevated with resin modified glass ionomer (RMGI) by a height of 2 mm (Group E [elevation]), and the margin of the other side served as a control (Group NE [no elevation]). Lithium disilicate computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) inlays were fabricated and bonded with a self-adhesive resin cement. An aging process was simulated on the specimens under thermomechanical cycling by using a chewing simulator. Marginal integration was evaluated under scanning electron miscroscopy (SEM) using epoxy resin replicas before and after cycling. Marginal areas were stained with silver nitrate solution, and the volumetric gap was measured at the bonded interfaces using microcomputed tomography (CT) before and after cycling. Statistical analyses were performed using paired t-tests, the Wilcoxon signed rank test, and the Mann–Whitney test (a<0.05).

Results: SEM showed marginal discontinuities in Group NE that increased after thermomechanical cycling. Micro-computed tomography exhibited three-dimensional dye-penetrating patterns at the interfaces before and after cycling. Interfacial disintegration was larger in Group NE before cycling (p<0.05). Thermomechanical cycling increased the gaps in both Groups NE and E (p<0.05). The gap increment from thermomechanical cycling was larger in Group NE (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Thermomechanical cycling induced interfacial disintegration at the lithium disilicate CAD/CAM inlays, with deep proximal margins. Margin elevation with RMGI placement reduced the extent of the interfacial gap formation before and after the aging simulation.

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