Is the radiopacity of CAD/CAM aesthetic materials sufficient?

Rua S. Babaier, Modi S. Aldeeb, Nick Silikas, David C. Watts

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This study was designed to investigate CAD/CAM restorative blocks and other resin-based materials by (i) determining their chemical composition, (ii) comparing their radiopacity and (iii) correlating their radiopacity with specimen thickness.

Disk specimens, of 1and 2 mm thickness (n = 3), were prepared from five CAD/CAM and six resin-based composites (RBCs). The CAD/CAM resin-composites included aesthetic types: CeraSmart (CS), Grandio Blocs (GB), Lava Ultimate (LU), plus a polymer infiltrated ceramic Vita Enamic (VE), and a feldspathic ceramic Vita Mark II (VM II). The six RBCs were for different clinical applications: direct filling, flowable, bulk fill, base and two luting cements. The specimens were radiographed alongside an aluminium step wedge and a tooth section. Digital images were analysed, and the radiopacity of each specimen was determined according to ISO 1311/2014. Statistical analyses of radiopacity, expressed as mm Al (n = 15), were carried out using the Kruskal-Wallis test followed by pairwise comparisons (α = 0.05).

Radiopacities of CAD/CAM materials were, in ascending order, VE, VM II, CS, LU, and GB. At 1 mm thickness, the radiopacities of all CAD/CAM specimens were matching or slightly lower than enamel. At 2-mm thickness, the resin composite blocks were significantly more radiopaque than the ceramics VE and VM II (p < 0.0001). No statistically significant differences in radiopacity were detected between the 1-mm thick infiltrated ceramic, enamel, dentin and various resin composites except for filling and bulk fill types. The radiopacity of polymer-infiltrated ceramics was low despite the presence of radiopacifying elements and high filler content.

Identifying thin restorations in standard radiographs is necessary with the development and expanded application of ‘digital’ dental materials in restorative treatment. This study confirmed the joint influence of composition and thickness on radiopacity. CAD/CAM restorative materials showed thickness-dependant radiopacity. But polymer-infiltrated ceramics were fairly radiolucent. There is a need to revisit radiopacity requirements for CAD/CAM restorative materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1072-1081
JournalDental Materials
Issue number6
Early online date7 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


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