Purpose: This study compared the internal adaptation of bulk-fill composite restorations in class II cavities and explored the relationship between internal adaptation and polymerization shrinkage or stress. Methods and Materials: Standardized mesiooccluso- distal cavities were prepared in 40 extracted human third molars and randomly divided into five groups (n=8). After having been applied by total-etch XP bond (Dentsply Caulk, Milford, DE, USA) and light curing, the teeth were restored with the following resin composites: group 1, Filtek Z350 (3M ESPE, St. Paul, MN, USA); group 2, SDR (Dentsply Caulk, Milford, DE, USA) + Z350; group 3, Venus Bulk Fill (Heraeus Kulzer, Dormagen, Germany) + Z350; group 4, Tetric N-Ceram Bulk Fill (Ivoclar Vivadent, Schaan, Liechtenstein); and group 5, SonicFill (Kerr, West Collins, Orange, CA, USA). After thermo-mechanical load cycling, cross-sectional microcomputerized tomography (micro-CT) images were taken. Internal adaptation was measured as imperfect margin percentage (IM%), which was the percentage of defective margin length relative to whole margin length. On the micro-CT images, IM% was measured at five interfaces. Linear polymerization shrinkage (LS) and polymerization shrinkage stress (PS) were measured on each composite with a custom linometer and universal testing machine. To explore the correlation of IM% and LS or PS, the Pearson correlation test was used. Results: The IM% of the gingival and pulpal cavity floors were inferior to those of the cavity walls. The IM% values of the groups were found to be as follows: group 5 ≤ groups 1 and 4 ≤ group 2 ≤ group 3. The correlation analysis showed that the p value was 0.006 between LS and IM% and 0.003 between PS and IM%, indicating significant correlations (p<0.05). Conclusion: Flowable bulk-fill composites had a higher IM% and polymerization shrinkage stress than did packable bulk-fill and hybrid composites. In class II composite restoration, the gingival floor of the proximal box and pulpal floor of the cavity had higher IM% than did the buccal and lingual walls of the proximal box. LS and PS, which were measured under compliance-allowed conditions, were significantly related to internal adaptation.
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