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Ilie, N. and Furtos, G. (2020): A Comparative Study of Light Transmission by Various Dental Restorative Materials and the Tooth Structure. In: Operative Dentistry, Vol. 45, No. 4: pp. 442-452

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Introduction: This study aims to quantify and compare the amount of light that passes through seven different types of direct and indirect restorative materials comprising light-cured resin based composites (regular and bulk-fill), computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) restoratives such as resin based composites, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) resin, leucite glass-ceramic, lithium silicate glass-ceramic, feldspar ceramic, and the natural tooth structure. Methods and Materials: Individual sets (n=6) of plane-parallel test specimens (2 mm) of 32 restorative materials belonging to the aforementioned seven material types and the tooth structure were prepared. Within the analyzed materials, one leucite glass-ceramic and one lithium disilicate glass-ceramic were considered in two different translucencies. In addition, two light-cured resin composites, one CAD/CAM resin composite, and one lithium disilicate glass-ceramic were considered in two different shades. Optical properties (transmittance, T;absorbance, A;and opacity, O) of each material were calculated from the relationship between incident and transmitted irradiance [I (d)] using a violet-blue light-curing unit. Incident and transmitted irradiance were assessed in real time on a spectrophotometer. A multivariate analysis (general linear model) assessed the effects of various parameters on the optical properties. Results: A very strong influence of the parameter material was identified on I (d) (p<0.001;partial eta squared, eta(2)(p) =0.953), T (p<0.001;eta(2)(p) =0.951), A (p <0.001;eta(2)(p) =0.925), and O (p<0.001;eta(2)(p) =0.886), while the effect of the parameter material type was not significant p =0.079, p =0.05, p =0.05, and (p =0.051, respectively). Light attenuation differed significantly by material within each shade category and by shade category within the analyzed material. Conclusions: Attenuation of light through restorative materials and tooth structure is high (59.9% to 94.9%);thus, deficits in polymerization are difficult to compensate for by additional light exposure at the end of the restorative process.

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