Polymerization shrinkage is the main disadvantage of dimethacrylate monomers used in dentistry. It compromises the adhesion of the restorative composite to the tooth structure and causes gap formation resulting in pulpal irritation, post-op sensitivity and recurrent decay. Our objective is to develop polymethacrylate-silica hybrid/nanocomposite dental materials with low volume shrinkage based on dense packing of vinyl modified silica nanoparticles. In this study, vinyl modified silica nanoparticles was assembled into thin film of densely packed particles. Upon photopolymerization of vinyl groups on the particles and vinyl monomers in the interstitial spaces, polymethacrylate-silica nanocomposite was obtained with low volume shrinkage. Further investigation is in progress to prepare bulk materials with dental monomers and visible light photoinitiators.
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