The aim of the present laboratory study was to mechanically characterize the interface between two dental resin-based composite (RBC) increments, and to investigate if elevated temperatures have an influence on the quality of the interface mimicking clinical filling procedure. Four RBCs (CLEARFIL MAJESTY™ Posterior, Kuraray (CMP)/Filtek™ Supreme XTE, 3M (FSX)/Grandio®SO, VOCO (GSO)/VisCalor® bulk, VOCO (VCB)) were tested with a fracture toughness test using Chevron notched beams (K) at 23, 37 and 54 °C. K specimens (3 × 4x25mm) with a V-shaped notch at the incremental interface were loaded until failure in a 4-point bending set-up. Failure modes were characterized using light microscopy, microstructural interface was analyzed using SEM. Statistical analysis was performed using Kolmogorov-Smirnoff test, two-way ANOVA and Tukey Post-Hoc test (p = 0.05). Mean K ranged between 0.73 ±0.14 MPam (VCB, 23 °C) and 1.11 ± 0.11 MPam (FSX, 23 °C). The tested conventional highly filled RBCs presented fracture toughness at the incremental interface comparable to the cohesive strength of the bulk materials. VCB showed reduced interfacial fracture toughness at 23 and 37 °C, but performed well at elevated temperature of 54 °C.
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