Effect of energy density on properties and marginal integrity of posterior resin composite restorations

Kraig S. Vandewalle, Jack L. Ferracane, Thomas J. Hilton, Robert L. Erickson, Ronald L. Sakaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine the minimal extent of cure required by the base of a Class 2 resin composite restoration (Z250, 3M ESPE, St Paul, MN, USA) that allows it to support the rest of the restoration and maintain its marginal seal under simulated clinical conditions. Methods. Resin composite (Z250, 3M ESPE, St Paul, MN, USA) was placed incrementally or in bulk into Class 2 preparations in extracted human molar teeth and exposed to various light-curing energy densities. The restorations were subjected to 1000 thermal cycles (5-55 °C) and 500,000 fatigue cycles from 18 to 85 N using a stainless-steel sphere. Marginal integrity was evaluated using visual rating (ridit analysis) and microleakage. Degree of conversion (DC) and Knoop hardness (KHN) were determined at the occlusal and gingival surfaces using a reusable tooth template with identical preparation dimensions. Percentage of maximum DC and KHN were determined. Mechanical properties were tested in resin composite bars having similar KHN values as the resin composite at the gingival margins. Results. Energy density had a significant effect on gingival marginal defects as determined by ridit analysis but not on microleakage. Water had a significant dissolving effect on gingival margin integrity at very low degrees of conversion and energy densities (4000 mJ/cm2). There was no overall significant effect of thermal-mechanical stressing on gingival marginal defects or microleakage. Significance. Based on ridit analysis, a recommended lower limit of gingival margin acceptability in the bulk-filled Z250 resin composite restoration was created by 80% of maximum conversion, 73% of maximum hardness and approximately 70% of maximum flexural strength and modulus in the gingival marginal area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalDental Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Degree of conversion
  • Knoop hardness
  • Marginal integrity
  • Microleakage
  • Resin composite restorations
  • Thermal-mechanical stressing
  • Visual rating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Dentistry
  • Mechanics of Materials


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