Post-gel polymerization contraction of resin composite induces contraction stresses at the composite-tooth bond and in surrounding tooth structure. Strain gauges have been shown to be an effective method for measuring linear post-gel polymerization contraction of composites. Anew model was developed in which the composite sample was bonded to and circumscribed by an acrylic ring. The model simulates a composite restoration surrounded by dentine. A strain gauge measured the deformation of the ring while a second strain gauge simultaneously recorded the dimensional change of the sample. Stresses placed on the acrylic ring as a result of polymerization contraction of the composite were calculated, based on the strains on the ring and the ring's material properties. Four composites (Heliomolar, Vivadent, Tonawanda, NY, USA; Herculite YR, Kerr Manufacturing Co., Romulus, MI, USA; P-50, 3M Co., St Paul, MN, USA; Silux Plus 3M Co.) were evaluated for polymerization contraction strain and stress on the surrounding acrylic ring during polymerization. At the end of the 60 s light application, Heliomolar demonstrated significantly lower post-gel contraction (0.12 per cent, P < 0.05) when compared to the other materials. When the strain reached an equilibrium at the end of 14 min Heliomolar continued to demonstrate lower post-gel contraction, however this was not statistically significant at P < 0.05. When the contraction stress on the surrounding acrylic ring was considered. P-50 rapidly developed and produced the largest stress values (1.7 MPa) at the end of the light application while Heliomolar produced the lowest stress values (0.3 MPa). These values, however, were not significantly different when evaluated statistically. The model appears to be a reasonable predictor of the results of polymerization contraction of composite resins. The ability to bond the composite to the acrylic through dentine bonding agents enhances its usefulness, and the simple geometry allows for relatively straightforward calculation of stress-strain relationships.
ASJC Scopus subject areas