Influence of the Physical Inclusion of ZrO2/TiO2 Nanoparticles on Physical, Mechanical, and Morphological Characteristics of PMMA-Based Interim Restorative Material

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Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is often used in restorative dentistry for its easy fabrication, aesthetics, and low cost for interim restorations. However, poor mechanical properties to withstand complex masticatory forces are a concern for clinicians. Therefore, this study aimed to modify a commercially available PMMA-based temporary restorative material by adding TiO2 and ZrO2 nanoparticles in different percentages as fillers and to investigate its physio-mechanical properties. Different percentages (0, 0.5, 1.5, and 3.0 wt%) of TiO2 and ZrO2 nanoparticles were mixed with the pristine PMMA resin (powder to liquid ratio: 1 : 1) and homogenized using high-speed mixer. The composites obtained were analyzed for their flexural strength (F.S.), elastic modulus (E.M.), Vickers hardness (H.V.), surface roughness Ra, morphology and water contact angle (WCA). The mean average was determined with standard deviation (SD) to analyze the results, and a basic comparison test was conducted. The results inferred that adding a small amount (0.5 wt%) of TiO2 and ZrO2 nanoparticles (NPs) could significantly enhance the physio-mechanical and morphological characteristics of PMMA interim restorations. EM and surface hardness increased with increasing filler content, with 3.0 wt.% ZrO2 exhibiting the highest EM (3851.28 MPa), followed by 3.0 wt.% TiO2 (3632.34 MPa). The WCA was significantly reduced from (control) to for 3.0 wt.% ZrO2 and for 3.0 wt.% TiO2. Therefore, TiO2 and ZrO2 NPs could potentially be used as fillers to improve the performance of PMMA and similar interim restorations.