Effect of heating delay on conversion and strength of a post-cured resin composite

M. A. Loza-Herrero, F. A. Rueggeberg, W. F. Caughman, G. S. Schuster, C. A. Lefebvre, F. M. Gardner

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81 Scopus citations


Physical property enhancement in light-cured resin composites from post-cure heating is attributed to free radicals created during initial photocuring, the number of which decreases following initial light-curing. Clinically, it is important to know when the number of remaining free radicals is too low to provide for additional conversion of monomer in post-cure-heated specimens. The hypothesis tested is that the potential for additional conversion in post-cure-heated resin composite restorations is dependent upon the time after initial light-curing at which the specimen is exposed to heat treatment. This research examined the effect of delay in post-cure heating after initial photo-activation on strength and monomer conversion of a commercial resin composite material. Discs (10 × 1 mm) of Herculite XRV (Kerr/Sybron, Orange, CA) were photocured at standardized conditions. One group was left unheated, and another was subjected to post-cure heating (Brilliant DI-500, Coltène AG, Altstätten, Switzerland) at the following times after being light-cured: 5 and 30 rain, and 6, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hrs. After the appropriate delay time, unheated and heated specimens (n = 10) were tested for biaxial flexural strength at a constant stressing rate. Recovered, fractured strength specimens (n = 10) were analyzed for cure by means of IR spectroscopy. Post-cure heating increased strength over that of the unheated specimens only for the shortest delay times: 5 or 30 min. Thereafter, strength values were statistically equivalent (p < 0.05). Delay in heating did not significantly enhance strength of post-cure-heated specimens, but delay in time did improve strength of the unheated groups. The greatest monomer conversion was obtained when post-cure heating was applied within 6 hrs following light-curing. The difference in cure between unheated and heated specimens remained significant up to 96 hrs of delay. Flexural strength of post-cure-heated specimens remained unchanged with time delay for heating specimens. Maximal monomer conversion of post-cured specimens is obtained only within 6 hrs of light-curing. The potential for additional conversion arising from post-cure heat treatment is dependent upon the time following initial curing at which heat is applied following initial light-curing. However, delay in heat application has no influence on flexural strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-431
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Composite cure
  • Composite strength
  • Post-cure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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