Impact of Material Shade and Distance from Light Curing Unit Tip on the Depth of Polymerization of Composites

<div><p>Abstract This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the composite shade and distance from the light-curing unit (LCU) tip on the irradiance reaching the bottom of composite disks and on the depth of polymerization. Composites of three shades (opaque - OXDC, bleach - BXL, and A2) were inserted into molds with 3-mm of thickness positioned over a spectrometer and photo-activated with the LCU (Bluephase) tip placed at 0 or 1 cm from the composite surface. The mean irradiance reaching the bottom of composite was recorded during the entire photo-activation (30 s). Specimens (2 x 2 x 4 mm) were polymerized and used to map the degree of conversion achieved in different depths from irradiated surface. Specimens were sectioned into slices that were positioned over the platform of the infra-red microscope connected to the spectrometer to map the conversion. The conversion was measured in eight different depths every 500-µm. Increasing the distance of LCU tip reduced the irradiance only for A2. Interposing OXDC disks resulted in lowest values of irradiance and A2 the highest one. A tendency to decrease the conversion was observed towards the bottom of specimens for all experimental conditions, and the slope was more accentuated for OXDC. Differences among shades and distances from LCU tip were evident only beyond 1.5-2.0 mm of depth. In conclusion, both composite shade and distance from LCU tip might affect the light-transmission and depth of polymerization, while the effect of last was more pronounced.</p></div>