This study examined the influence of power density on dentin bond strength and polymerization behavior of dual-cured direct core foundation resin systems. Two commercially available dual-cured direct core foundation resin systems, Clearfil DC Core Automix with Clearfil DC Bond and UniFil Core with Self-Etching Bond, were studied. Bovine mandibular incisors were mounted in autopolymerizing resin and the facial dentin surfaces were ground wet on 600-grit SiC paper. Dentin surfaces were treated according to manufacturer's recommendations. The resin pastes were condensed into the mold and cured with the power densities of 0 (no irradiation), 100, 200, 400 and 600 mW/cm2. Ten specimens per group were stored in 37°C water for 24 hours, then shear tested at a crosshead speed of 1.0 mm/minute in a universal testing machine. An ultrasonic measurement device was used to measure the ultrasonic velocities through the core foundation resins. The power densities selected were 0 (no irradiation), 200, and 600 mW/cm2, and ultrasonic velocity was calculated. ANOVA and Tukey HSD tests were performed at a level of 0.05. The highest bond strengths were obtained when the resin pastes were cured with the high-est power density for both core foundation systems (16.8 ± 1.9 MPa for Clearfil DC Core Automix, 15.6 ± 2.9 MPa for UniFil Core). When polymerized with the power densities under 200 mW/cm2, significantly lower bond strengths were observed compared to those obtained with the power density of 600 mW/cm2. As the core foundation resins hardened, the sonic velocities increased and this tendency differed among the power density of the curing unit. When the sonic velocities at three minutes after the start of measurements were compared, there were no significant differences among different irradiation modes for UniFil Core, while a significant decrease in sonic velocity was obtained when the resin paste was chemically polymerized compared with dual-polymerization for Clearfil DC Core Automix. The data suggests that the dentin bond strengths and polymerization behavior of the dual-cured, direct core foundation systems are still affected by the power density of the curing unit. With a careful choice of the core foundation systems and power density of the curing unit, the benefit of using resin composites to endodontically-treated teeth might be acceptable.
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