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J Oral Rehabil. 2004 Sep;31(9):918-23.

The effect of sterilization methods on the light transmission characteristics and structure of light-curing tips.

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Department of Operative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of various sterilization methods on the light transmission and the structural characteristics of two light-curing tips. Twenty tips from two light-curing devices [Elipar II (EL) and Heliolux II (HL)] were classified into four groups. The tips in groups A to C were subjected to sterilization with 0.2% sodium dichloroisacyanurate solution (Presept), 2% glutaraldehyde solution (Cidex) (2 h cycle(-1)) and water-steam autoclave (120 degrees C, 1 bar, 12 min cycle(-1)), respectively. A total of 2100 sterilization cycles was performed for all methods tested. The transmitted light intensity (TLI) was measured at specific sterilization time intervals by a curing radiometer (Model 100, Demetron). The final % TLI reduction of the sterilized tips was calculated relative to the corresponding control ones. The topography and composition of the front curing tip surfaces were determined using scanning electron microscopy combined with electron probe microanalyser. Autoclaving caused the lowest final TLI decrease (EL: 15%, HL: 19%) compared with Presept (EL: 60%, HL: 42%) and with Cidex (EL: 68%, HL: 52%). Cidex yielded higher TLI drop than Presept for both types of tips examined. Elipar tips were found to be more sensitive than Heliolux tips to both chemical sterilization techniques. Total or partial coating of the tip surfaces with insoluble salts after sterilization with Presept and Cidex was detected, mainly composed of Ca, Cl, Al, Pd and Mg traces. No changes were noted on the surfaces after autoclave. Water-steam autoclave is safer than the 0.2% sodium dicloroisocyanorate and 2% glutaraldehyde chemical sterilization agents regarding the light transmission characteristics and the structure of the light-curing tips.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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