The present study aimed to characterize the pattern and volume of polymerization shrinkage of flowable resin composites, including one conventional, two bulk fill, and one self-adhesive Standardized class I preparations (2.5 mm depth × 4 mm length × 4 mm wide) were performed in 24 caries-free human third molars that were randomly divided in four groups, according to the resin composite and adhesive system used: group 1 = Permaflo + Peak Universal Bond (PP); group 2 = Filtek Bulk Fill + Scotchbond Universal (FS); group 3 = Surefil SDR + XP Bond (SX); and group 4 = Vertise flow self-adhering (VE) (n=6). Each tooth was scanned three times using a microcomputed tomography (μCT) apparatus. The first scan was done after the cavity preparation, the second after cavity filling with the flowable resin composite before curing, and the third after it was cured. The μCT images were imported into three-dimensional rendering software, and volumetric polymerization shrinkage percentage was calculated for each sample. Data were submitted to one-way analysis of variance and post hoc comparisons. No significant difference was observed among PP, FS, and VE. SX bulk fill resin composite presented the lowest values of volumetric shrinkage. Shrinkage was mostly observed along the occlusal surface and part of the pulpal floor. In conclusion, polymerization shrinkage outcomes in a 2.5-mm deep class I cavity were material dependent, although most materials did not differ. The location of shrinkage was mainly at the occlusal surface.
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