This study investigated the influence of the different curing distances with three polymerization modes in terms of the surface microhardness of four resin composites as a function of energy density. A hybrid resin composite and flowable composite from each of two manufacturers were evaluated. The specimens were polymerized with one of two light-curing units: 1) Mini LED AutoFocus (1500 mW/cm2) with a fast curing mode, for which two polymerization regimens were used: a) one Auto- Focus function cycle and b) two AutoFocus function cycles, and 2) LEDemetron I (950 mW/ cm2) with a 20-second curing time. Polymerization was performed with the curing tip at a distance of 0 mm, 3.0 mm, ±.0 mm, and 9.0 mm from the top surface of the specimen, and the power density of each light source was measured with a spectrophotometer. All specimens were stored in distilled water in a light-proof container at 378C for 24 hours, and their top and bottom surface Knoop hardness numbers were determined. Microhardness data were submitted to two-way analysis of variance and multiple comparisons with a Tukey test. All statistical analyses were performed at a significance level of 0.05. Though the curing lights tested exhibited a decrease in power density with distance, the rate and extent of power density loss were not the same. The polymerization mode and curing tip distance had a significant effect on the composite microhardness. There was also a significant interaction among polymerization mode, curing tip distance, and microhardness. The curing ability of the three polymerization modes was ranked in terms of the hardness percent values: the LEDemetron I> two cycles of the Mini LED AutoFocus > one cycle of the Mini LED AutoFocus.
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