Objectives

This study evaluated the influence of the thickness of disilicate ceramic on the light attenuation (mW/cm2), degree of conversion (DC, %), Knoop hardness (KH, N/mm2) and the elastic modulus (E, MPa) of four luting resins.

Methods

Three resin cements: RelyX Veneer (RV, 3M Oral Care, Monrovia, CA USA); Allcem Veneer APS (AC, FGM); Variolink Esthetic LC (VE, Ivoclar Vivadent, Schaan, Liechtenstein) and one flowable resin composite Tetric N-Flow (TF, Ivoclar Vivadent) were photocured for 20 seconds. The irradiance (mW/cm2) and emission spectrum (mW/cm2/nm) from a broad-spectrum LED light unit (Bluephase G2, Ivoclar Vivadent) were measured over the luting material (control) and through 0.3 mm, 0.7 mm, and 1.0 mm thick ceramic discs (e.max CAD, Ivoclar Vivadent).

Results

The LED light delivered 26.1 J/cm2 to the surface and 6.2 J/cm2 through the 1.0 mm thick ceramic. The distribution of violet and blue light across the light tip of the light-curing unit (LCU) was relatively homogeneous, but there was less violet range. The irradiance and spectral radiant power decreased significantly as the ceramic thicknesses increased (p<0.001). The luting material type had significant effect on KH and E values (p<0.001). The RV had the greatest KH and E values, and VE had the lowest. Ceramic thickness had no significant effect on KH (p=0.213) and E (p=0.130). The KH (p=0.265) and E (p=0.165) were also not influenced by the location where these measurements were made across the specimens. No significant reduction of the DC was observed as the ceramic thickness increased (p=0.311).

Conclusion

Increasing the ceramic thickness exponentially reduced the irradiance. This reduction was more pronounced at the shorter wavelengths (violet) of light, with an 82% decrease for 1 mm-thick ceramic. Increasing the ceramic thickness did not affect the DC, irrespective of photoinitiators used in the tested resins. The position of the violet and blue LEDs within the body of the LCU did not influence KH or E in any of the resins tested. The KH and E of VE were significantly lower than the other 3 luting materials tested.

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