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J Contemp Dent Pract. 2008 May 1;9(4):43-50.

Composite resin microhardness: the influence of light curing method, composite shade, and depth of cure.

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Operative Dentistry at the Federal University of Pelotas, RS, Brazil.



The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of light curing method, composite shade, and depth of cure on composite microhardness.


Forty-eight specimens with 4 mm of depth were prepared with a hybrid composite (Filtek Z-100, 3M ESPE); 24 with shade A1 and the remaining with shade C2. For each shade, two light curing units (LCUs) were used: a quartz-tungsten-halogen (QTH) LCU (Optilight Plus - Gnatus) and a light emitting diode (LED) LCU (LEC 470 II - MM Optics). The LED LCU was tested using two exposure times (LED 40 seconds and LED 60 seconds). After 24-hour storage, three indentations were made at mm depth intervals using a Knoop indenter. Data were submitted to three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey's test (p<0.05).


The three factors tested (light curing method, shade, and depth) had a significant influence on the composite microhardness (p<0.05). All groups presented similar hardness values in the first mm, except for composite shade C2 cured with LED for 40 seconds. The hardness decreased with depth, especially for shade C2 for 40 seconds. Increasing light-curing time with LED produced hardness values similar to the QTH.


The light curing method including variations of time, the depth of cure, and the composite shade influence the composite microhardness.


Clinicians should avoid thicker increments when working with composite restorations. Extended light-curing time might be indicated depending on the composite shade and on the light-curing device.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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