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Effects of irradiance, wavelength, and thermal emission of different light curing units on the Knoop and Vickers hardness of a composite resin.

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Dental School, Pontifícia Universidade Católica, 80215-901 Curitiba (PR), Brazil.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of irradiance, light emission wavelength, and heating of different light curing units on the Knoop and Vickers hardness of a hybrid composite resin. The specimens were irradiated during 40 s with ten different light curing units, LEDs, and halogen lights. The spectral emission of each light curing unit was assessed by a spectrometer, the irradiance was measured by two commercial radiometers, and the heating measured with a thermocouple. After 48 h of storage in a dark recipient under a 100% humidity condition, the Knoop and Vickers hardness tests were carried out. The hardness results were analyzed by ANOVA, and Tukey HSD test (p < 0.05). The results showed that the surface hardness of the composite resin depends not only on the irradiance, but strongly on the emission wavelength and heating of the light curing units. It was observed, a linear correlation between the conversion degree and radiant exposure. In addition, it is suggested that the well known base to top surface hardness ratio convention of 80-90% is not appropriate to evaluate curing efficiency of composites, since the top surface is not always sufficiently polymerized.

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