OBJECTIVES: To investigate the influence of curing distance on the degree of conversion (DC) of a resin-based composite (RBC) when similar radiant exposure was achieved using six different light-curing units (LCUs) and to explore the correlation among irradiance, radiant exposure, and DC. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A managing accurate resin curing-resin calibrator system was used to collect irradiance data for both top and bottom specimen surfaces with a curing distance of 2 mm and 8 mm while targeting a consistent top surface radiant exposure. Square nanohybrid-dual-photoinitiator RBC specimens (5 × 5 × 2 mm) were cured at each distance (n=6/LCU/distance). Irradiance and DC (micro-Raman spectroscopy) were determined for the top and bottom surfaces. The effect of distance and LCU on irradiance, radiant exposure, and DC as well as their linear associations were analyzed using analysis of variance and Pearson correlation coefficients, respectively (α=0.05). RESULTS: While maintaining a similar radiant exposure, each LCU exhibited distinctive patterns in decreased irradiance and increased curing time. No significant differences in DC values (63.21%-70.28%) were observed between the 2- and 8-mm distances, except for a multiple-emission peak LCU. Significant differences in DC were detected among the LCUs. As expected, irradiance and radiant exposure were significantly lower on the bottom surfaces. However, a strong correlation between irradiance and radiant exposure did not necessarily result in a strong correlation with DC. CONCLUSIONS: The RBC exhibited DC values >63% when the top surface radiant exposure was maintained, although the same values were not reached for all lights. A moderate-strong correlation existed among irradiance, radiant exposure, and DC.
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