This study aimed to compare two different bulk-filling techniques, evaluating the internal and external adaptation of class II resin-composite restorations, by analysing the gap formation using microcomputed tomography (µ-CT) and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Two standardized mesio/disto-occlusal (MO/DO) cavities were prepared in eight extracted human third molars that were divided, according to the filling technique used, in the following two groups (n = 4): BG (Bulk&Go group) and BT (Bulk Traditional group). After universal bonding application, followed by the light curing, all teeth were restored using a bulk-fill composite. Specimens were scanned with µ-CT to evaluate 3D interfacial gaps. Acquired µ-CT data were analysed to quantify the gap formation. Complementary information to the µ-CT analysis were obtained by SEM. Thereafter, the chemical composition of tooth-restoration interface was analysed using EDS. The µ-CT analysis revealed gaps formation at the tooth-restoration interface for both the BG and BT groups, while within the restoration, only in the BT group there was evidence of microleakage formation. The scanning electron micrographs of both groups showed that the external marginal integrity of the restoration was preserved, while EDS showed the three different structures (tooth surface, adhesive layer and resin composite) of the tooth-restoration interface, highlighting the absence of gap formation. In both BG and BT, the two filling techniques did not show significant differences regarding the internal and external marginal adaptation of the restoration. To achieve a successful restoration, the clinician could be advised to restore a class II cavity using a single increment bulk-filling technique (BG), thus treating it as a class I cavity.
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