OBJECTIVE: This in vivo study evaluated the influence of the sequence of all restorative steps during Class V preparation and restoration in human premolars on pulp temperature (PT). METHODS AND MATERIALS: Intact premolars with orthodontic extraction indication of 13 volunteers received infiltrative anesthesia and isolation with rubber dam. An occlusal preparation was made with a high-speed diamond bur under air-water spray until the pulp was minimally exposed, then a thermocouple probe was inserted within the pulp. A deep, 2.0-mm depth Class V preparation was made using a high-speed diamond bur under air-water spray. Three restorative techniques were performed (n=7): Filtek Z250 placed in two increments (10-second exposure, shade:A2, 3M ESPE, St. Paul, MN, USA), Filtek Z350 XT (40-second exposure, shade:A3D, 3M ESPE) and Tetric N Ceram Bulk Fill (10-second exposure, shade:IVA, Ivoclar Vivadent, Schaan, Liechtenstein), both placed in a single layer. Bonding layer and resin composite were exposed to light from the same Polywave LCU (Bluephase 20i, Ivoclar Vivadent). The peak PT and the difference between peak PT and baseline (ΔT) values were subjected to two-way, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by the Bonferroni post-hoc test (α=0.05). RESULTS: Cavity preparation and etch & rinse procedures decreased the PT values (p<0.001). The 40-second exposure of Filtek Z350 caused the highest peak PT values (38.7±0.8°C) and the highest ΔT values (3.4±0.8°C), while Tetric N Ceram Bulk Fill showed the lowest values (-1.6±1.3°C; p=0.009). CONCLUSION: None of the evaluated procedures resulted in a PT rise near to values that could offer any risk of thermal damage to the pulp.
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