Bulk-fill resin-based composites: an in vitro assessment of their mechanical performance.

Research paper by N N Ilie, S S Bucuta, M M Draenert

Indexed on: 11 Apr '13Published on: 11 Apr '13Published in: Operative dentistry


The study aimed to assess the mechanical performance of seven bulk-fill RBCs (Venus Bulk Fill, Heraeus Kulzer; SureFil SDR flow, Dentsply Caulk; x-tra base and x-tra fil, VOCO; Filtek Bulk Fill, 3M ESPE; SonicFill, Kerr; Tetric EvoCeram Bulk Fill, Ivoclar Vivadent) by determining their flexural strength (σ), reliability (Weibull parameter, m), flexural modulus (Eflexural), indentation modulus (YHU), Vickers hardness (HV), and creep (Cr). The significant highest flexural strengths were measured for SonicFill, x-tra base, and x-tra fil, while x-tra base, SureFil SDR flow, and Venus Bulk Fill showed the best reliability. The differences among the materials became more evident in terms of Eflexural and YHU, with x-tra fil achieving the highest values, while Filtek Bulk Fill and Venus Bulk Fill achieved the lowest. The enlarged depth of cure in bulk-fill RBCs seems to have been realized by enhancing the materials' translucency through decreasing the filler amount and increasing the filler size. The manufacturer's recommendation to finish a bulk-fill RBC restoration by adding a capping layer made of regular RBCs is an imperative necessity, since the modulus of elasticity and hardness of certain materials (SureFil SDR flow, Venus Bulk Fill, and Filtek Bulk Fill) were considerably below the mean values measured in regular nanohybrid and microhybrid RBCs. The class of bulk-fill RBCs revealed similar flexural strength values as the class of nanohybrid and microhybrid RBCs, and significantly higher values when compared to flowable RBCs. The modulus of elasticity (Eflexural), the indentation modulus (YHU), and the Vickers hardness (HV) classify the bulk-fill RBCs as between the hybrid RBCs and the flowable RBCs; in terms of creep, bulk-fill and the flowable RBCs perform similarly, both showing a significantly lower creep resistance when compared to the nanohybrid and microhybrid RBCs.