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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 532-535
Comparative evaluation of the microtensile bond strength of bulk fill and low shrinkage composite for different depths of Class II cavities with the cervical margin in cementum: An in vitro study

Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, ITS-CDSR, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Date of Submission27-Jul-2016
Date of Decision20-Sep-2016
Date of Acceptance06-Oct-2016
Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2016


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the microtensile bond strength (μTBS) of bulk fill and low shrinkage composite for different depths of Class II cavities with the cervical margin in cementum.
Materials and Methods: Standardized conservative box-shaped Class II cavities were prepared on sixty sound-impacted human third molars. The samples were randomly divided into two groups: Group I (n = 30) - horizontal incremental technique and Group II (n = 30) - bulk fill technique (SonicFill). They were further subdivided into three subgroups of (n = 10) samples each according to the different occluso-gingival height: subgroup (A - 4 mm, B - 5 mm, and C - 6 mm). The gingival margins for all the samples were located 1 mm below the cementoenamel junction. The restored samples were subjected to thermocycling (500 cycles) followed by μTBS testing. The scores were statistically analyzed using ANOVA and post hoc test using SPSS software version 16.
Results: Subgroups IA and IB showed lower μTBS than subgroups IIA and IIB (P < 0.05) whereas subgroup IC showed higher μTBS than subgroup IIC (P < 0.05). SonicFill showed a significant reduction in μTBS as the depth increased.
Conclusion: SonicFill should be used in two increments for cavities with a depth of more than 5 mm.

Keywords: Bulk fill technique; incremental technique; microtensile bond strength; thermocycling

How to cite this article:
Taneja S, Kumar P, Kumar A. Comparative evaluation of the microtensile bond strength of bulk fill and low shrinkage composite for different depths of Class II cavities with the cervical margin in cementum: An in vitro study. J Conserv Dent 2016;19:532-5

How to cite this URL:
Taneja S, Kumar P, Kumar A. Comparative evaluation of the microtensile bond strength of bulk fill and low shrinkage composite for different depths of Class II cavities with the cervical margin in cementum: An in vitro study. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Oct 4];19:532-5. Available from:

   Introduction Top

There have been tremendous changes and developments in restorative dentistry over the past few decades and the pace is accelerating. Although various manufacturers have attempted to improve the physical and mechanical properties of composite resins, some drawbacks are still inherent to direct composite restoration, such as polymerization stresses induced during and after their insertion.[1],[2] In addition, optimal occlusal anatomy and approximal contacts are difficult to obtain, especially in large cavities and areas of difficult access. Polymerization stresses generated by polymerization shrinkage may compromise the bond integrity, thereby increasing the potential for mechanical failure by allowing the ingress of bacteria, microleakage, postoperative sensitivity, and ultimately secondary caries, pulpal inflammation, or necrosis.[3] Various clinical methods have been proposed to reduce the shrinkage stresses such as the control of curing light intensity,[4] flowable resin liner application,[5] indirect resin restoration,[6] and incremental layering technique.[7]

Incremental insertion techniques are recommended to reduce the undesirable effects of polymerization shrinkage by decreasing C-factor (ratio of bonded to unbonded surfaces).[8] Despite these benefits, the incremental technique cause incorporation of voids or contaminants between composite layers [9] and increased deformation of restored tooth.[10] Furthermore, increased time is required to place and polymerize each layer. To overcome the shortcomings of incremental filling techniques, bulk fill composites have been introduced.

SonicFill (Kerr Dental, Orange, CA, USA) is a sonic-activated bulk fill composite that has been recently introduced. The composite contains about 83.5% of filler by weight, mainly silica and barium aluminosilicate. The SonicFill system consists of a handpiece, activated sonically and attached to the high-speed multiflex connection. A special composite unidose is screwed on the handpiece. Upon activation, the sonic energy lowers the viscosity and extrudes the composite that has initially a thick consistency. Upon deactivation of sonic energy, viscosity of the composite increases and allows easy adaptation and sculpting morphology of the composites. Herculite Precise (Kerr Dental, Orange, CA, USA) is a low shrinkage, nanohybrid composite which contains prepolymerized filler. The prepolymerized fillers (particle size - 0.4 µm) increase the surface asperity and reduce surface contact with instrument, making the material smooth and nonsticky.

The microtensile bond strength (µTBS) evaluation reduces the nonuniform stress distribution at adhesive interface and has made possible the evaluation of several clinically relevant substrates and conditions.[11] Very few studies have been reported in literature evaluating and comparing the µTBS of bulk fill composite (SonicFill) and low shrinkage composite (Herculite Precise) restored with layering technique for different occluso-gingival depths. Therefore, the aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the µTBS of bulk fill and low shrinkage composites for different depths of Class II cavities with the cervical margin in cementum.

   Materials and Methods Top

Specimen preparation

Sixty sound-impacted human third molars which were freshly extracted and free of any developmental anomalies were selected. Standardized conservative box-shaped Class II cavities were prepared on the proximal surface of each tooth with buccolingual width of 4 mm and axial wall depth of 2 mm in dentin using #245 burs (SS White, Lakewood, NJ, USA) in an air/water-cooled high-speed turbine. A new bur was used after every five cavity preparations.

Grouping of specimens

The samples were randomly divided into two groups of (n = 30) samples each according to the type of restoring technique: Group I - horizontal incremental technique (Herculite Precis) and Group II - bulk fill technique (SonicFill).

Subgrouping of specimens

Occlusal enamel of Class II cavities was abraded with 600 grit SiC paper to obtain different occluso-gingival heights (4 mm - subgroup A, 5 mm - subgroup B, and 6 mm - subgroup C), keeping the gingival margins 1 mm below the cementoenamel junction (CEJ) for all the samples. In each subgroup, there were ten samples. Mylar strip was fixed around each sample. To simulate clinical conditions during restoration placement, the teeth were mounted in models using a silicon impression material. Care was taken that mounting material did not interfere with the cavity finish lines.

Restoration of samples

Group I

In Group I, dentinal surfaces of the specimen's cavity were etched with 37% phosphoric acid for 15 s followed by cleaning with gentle water spray for 10 s. Optibond Solo Plus (Kerr, Orange CA, USA) was applied to etched dentin surface according to manufacturer's instructions. The adhesive was cured for 20 s with a light-guided tip attached to quartz tungsten halogen (QTH) light-curing unit having an in-built radiometer. The cavities were restored with three horizontal increments of Herculite Precis composite using an incremental method with each increment being polymerized for 40 s using QTH. The intensity of curing light was periodically checked.

Group II

In Group II, after completion of bonding protocol as in Group I, the dispensing rate of SonicFill composite was set and the tip was placed at the bottom of cavity floor. The cavity was filled in a steady, continuous stream, withdrawing the tip as the cavity got restored and then cured for 20 s from the occlusal surface. The buccal and the lingual aspects of the tooth were cured for an additional 10 s each.

Thermocycling of specimens

The samples were stored in moist conditions for 24 h at 37°C and then subjected to thermocycling of 500 cycles with the temperature changing from 5°C to 55°C, dwell time of 15 s, and an interval time of 10 s each.

Sectioning of samples

The restored specimens were serially sectioned creating approximately 1 mm thick slabs. Each slab was trimmed from cemental and dentinal sides to obtain dentin restoration interface that had a bonded surface area of approximately 0.9 mm 2. Two sticks were obtained from each restoration; therefore, twenty specimens were evaluated in each subgroup. Resin dentin sticks were embedded in cold cure acrylic blocks at both the ends.

Microtensile bond strength testing procedure

The µTBS was evaluated at a cross-head speed of 0.5 mm/min until debonding at the dentin adhesive interface occurred. The maximum force at which debonding occurred was measured. The µTBS was calculated in MPa by dividing the maximum force by the cross-sectional area of the bonding surface for each specimen. The scores were statistically analyzed using ANOVA and post hoc test using SPSS software version 16 (SPSS Inc. Chicago, U.S.A).

   Results Top

Intersubgroup comparison showed significantly higher µTBS (P < 0.05) of subgroups IIA and IIB in comparison to subgroups IA and IB whereas subgroup IIC showed significantly lower µTBS than subgroup IIC (P < 0.05). When intragroup comparison of Group I was done, subgroups IA and IB and IA and IC showed significant difference in µTBS (P > 0.05) whereas subgroups IB and IC showed nonsignificant difference (P > 0.05). When intragroup comparison of Group II was done, subgroups IIA, IIB, and IIC showed significant difference in µTBS (P < 0.05).

   Discussion Top

In our study, µTBS of two currently used protocols in composite insertion was evaluated. The gingival margin of the Class II cavities was kept 1 mm below the CEJ so as to have a standardized substrate for different occluso-gingival depths. The axial depth and buccolingual width of the cavities were also standardized.

QTH curing unit was used as it presents a broad spectrum, which allows efficient activation of different photoinitiators.[12] In addition, QTH curing units have shown better depth of cure, marginal adaptation, and interfacial integrity, when compared to high-intensity light emitting diode.[13]

In Group I, light-guided curing tip was used to ensure a uniform light irradiation of each increment at a constant distance of 1 mm. Prati et al. reported that light guide can be affected by the distance between the light guide tip and the resin composite, and even 1 mm of air can reduce light intensity by approximately 10%.[14] In our study, bonded interface used for checking the µTBS was reduced to 0.9 mm 2 from dentinal and cemental sides to have a purely dentin restoration interface.

Pashley et al. have recommended 0.8 to 1 mm 2 cross-sectional area of resin–dentin interface to assess the µTBS.[15] Literature has shown that there is an inverse relationship between bond strength and bond area: The smaller the area, the greater is the bond strength. A small surface area of the specimen reduces the stress distribution, thus reducing the number of internal defects which generally results in only adhesive failures.[16]

In subgroup A, bulk fill showed significantly higher µTBS than incremental fill [Table 1]. This might be due to the chemistry of SonicFill and its viscosity. SonicFill incorporates highly filled proprietary resin (83.5% filler by weight) and special modifiers that react to sonic energy. It has increased percentage of photoinitiator which produces adequate degree of conversion at the bottom of cavity. In its initial resting stage, the modifiers form an extended stabilizing network throughout the resin. As sonic waves are applied through the handpiece, the modifiers cause the viscosity of the composite to drop up to 87%. This increases the flowability, quick placement, and precise adaptation of the composite to the cavity walls. Composite returns to a more sticky and nonslumping state as the sonic energy is stopped. Furthermore, the volumetric shrinkage of SonicFill is reported to be 1.6% which reduces the likelihood of composite pulling away from the tooth surface during the polymerization process. Versluis et al. reported that the total amount of composite material to fill a cavity turns out to be low for an incremental filler technique than single bulk filling technique. In incremental technique, polymerization contraction of each individual filling increment causes some deformation of the cavity by forcing the cavity walls to bend in and downward, thereby decreasing the cavity volume. A decreased cavity volume means less composite can be placed for the next filling increment. This results in higher shrinkage residual stresses leading to debonding at tooth restoration interface.[10] Winkler et al. reported that bulk filled technique fills the total volume of the preparation and creates less residual shrinkage stresses than incremental technique.[17]
Table 1: Overall means and standard deviation of microtensile bond strength values (MPa)

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Nikolaenko et al. showed contradictory results to our study. In their study, bulk technique (depth: 4 mm) led to low dentin adhesion at the cavity floor.[18] The difference between the results might be due to difference in composite used for bulk filling.

In subgroup B, bulk fill showed significantly higher µTBS than incremental fill [Table 1]. On the contrary, Figueiredo Reis et al. reported that bulk filling technique showed lower µTBS values when compared to incremental techniques. The authors stated that incremental filling technique assures uniform and maximum polymerization at the bottom of the cavity. In addition, by restoring Class II cavities, the C-factor gets reduced to about 1.3.[19]

In subgroup C, bulk fill showed significantly lower bond strength values than incremental fill [Table 1]. This might be due to light-dispersing capability of composite resins. Thus, when light passes through the bulk of the composite, the irradiance is reduced due to light scattering caused by filler particles and resin matrix. Although bulk fill composite (SonicFill) has increased percentage of photoinitiators, they might still be insufficient to facilitate adequate curing at 6 mm depth due to increased distance from the light source. This might have resulted in insufficient polymerization of base of SonicFill composite at 6 mm depth.

Aguiar et al. reported that composite restorations light cured at 2 mm and 4 mm (bottom surface) presented significantly higher microhardness values than samples light cured at 8 mm.[20]

In Group I, intragroup comparison showed nonsignificant reduction in µTBS between 5 mm and 6 mm [Table 1]. This might be due to the use of light-guided tip which produced the uniform and adequate polymerization of each increment at the various depths of the cavity. In Group II, intragroup comparison showed a significant reduction in µTBS as the depth increased [Table 1]. This might be because of insufficient irradiance of the composite at the bottom of the cavity.

   Conclusion Top

  • Both Herculite Precise (incremental technique) and SonicFill (bulk fill composite) showed highest µTBS at 4 mm and least at 6 mm
  • Bulk fill technique showed superior µTBS at 4 and 5 mm depths and inferior µTBS at 6 mm depth in comparison to incremental technique
  • SonicFill should be used in two increments for cavities with a depth of more than 5 mm.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Leung RL, Fan PL, Johnston WM. Post irradiation polymerization of visible light activated composite resin. J Dent Res 1983;62:262-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
de Gee AF, Feilzer AJ, Davidson CL. True linear polymerization shrinkage of unfilled resins and composites determined with a linometer. Dent Mater 1993;9:11-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Jensen ME, Chan DC. Polymerization shrinkage and microleakage. In: Vanherle G, Smith DC, editors. Posterior Dental Restorative Materials. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Peter Szculz Publishing Co.; 1985. p. 243-62.  Back to cited text no. 3
Feilzer AJ, Dooren LH, de Gee AJ, Davidson CL. Influence of light intensity on polymerization shrinkage and integrity of restoration-cavity interface. Eur J Oral Sci 1995;103:322-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Alomari QD, Reinhardt JW, Boyer DB. Effect of liners on cusp deflection and gap formation in composite restorations. Oper Dent 2001;26:406-11.  Back to cited text no. 5
Lee MR, Cho BH, Son HH, Um CM, Lee IB. Influence of cavity dimension and restoration methods on the cusp deflection of premolars in composite restoration. Dent Mater 2007;23:288-95.  Back to cited text no. 6
McCullock AJ, Smith BG.In vitro studies of cuspal movement produced by adhesive restorative materials. Br Dent J 1986;161:405-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
Park J, Chang J, Ferracane J, Lee IB. How should composite be layered to reduce shrinkage stress: Incremental or bulk filling? Dent Mater 2008;24:1501-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
Abbas G, Fleming GJ, Harrington E, Shortall AC, Burke FJ. Cuspal movement and microleakage in premolar teeth restored with a packable composite cured in bulk or in increments. J Dent 2003;31:437-44.  Back to cited text no. 9
Versluis A, Douglas WH, Cross M, Sakaguchi RL. Does an incremental filling technique reduce polymerization shrinkage stresses? J Dent Res 1996;75:871-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Pashley DH, Carvalho RM, Sano H, Nakajima M, Yoshiyama M, Shono Y. The microtensile bond test: A review. J Adhes Dent 1999;1:31-9.  Back to cited text no. 11
Cadenaro M, Antoniolli F, Codan B, Agee K, Tay FR, Dorigo Ede S, et al. Influence of different initiators on the degree of conversion of experimental adhesive blends in relation to their hydrophilicity and solvent content. Dent Mater 2010;26:288-94.  Back to cited text no. 12
Rahiotis C, Patsouri K, Silikas N, Kakaboura A. Curing efficiency of high-intensity light-emitting diode (LED) devices. J Oral Sci 2010;52:187-95.  Back to cited text no. 13
Prati C, Chersoni S, Montebugnoli L, Montanari G. Effect of air, dentin and resin-based composite thickness on light intensity reduction. Am J Dent 1999;12:231-4.  Back to cited text no. 14
Pashley DH, Carvalho RM, Sano H, Nakajima M, Yoshiyama M, Shono Y, et al. The microtensile bond test: A review. J Adhes Dent 1999;1:299-309.  Back to cited text no. 15
Sano H, Shono T, Sonoda H, Takatsu T, Ciucchi B, Carvalho R, et al. Relationship between surface area for adhesion and tensile bond strength – Evaluation of a micro-tensile bond test. Dent Mater 1994;10:236-40.  Back to cited text no. 16
Winkler MM, Katona TR, Paydar NH. Finite element stress analysis of three filling techniques for class V light-cured composite restorations. J Dent Res 1996;75:1477-83.  Back to cited text no. 17
Nikolaenko SA, Lohbauer U, Roggendorf M, Petschelt A, Dasch W, Frankenberger R. Influence of c-factor and layering technique on microtensile bond strength to dentin. Dent Mater 2004;20:579-85.  Back to cited text no. 18
Figueiredo Reis A, Giannini M, Ambrosano GM, Chan DC. The effects of filling techniques and a low-viscosity composite liner on bond strength to class II cavities. J Dent 2003;31:59-66.  Back to cited text no. 19
Aguiar FH, Lazzari CR, Lima DA, Ambrosano GM, Lovadino JR. Effect of light curing tip distance and resin shade on microhardness of a hybrid resin composite. Braz Oral Res 2005;19:302-6.  Back to cited text no. 20

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sonali Taneja
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, ITS-CDSR, Muradnagar, Ghaziabad 201206, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-0707.194023

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