Monomers used in resin composites: Degree of conversion, mechanical properties and water sorption/solubility

Vinícius E.S. Gajewski, Carmem S. Pfeifer, Nívea R.G. Fróes-Salgado, Letícia C.C. Boaro, Roberto R. Braga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


The organic phase of resin composites is constituted by dimethacrylate resins, the most common monomers being the bisphenol A diglycidildimethacrylate (BisGMA), its ethoxylated version (BisEMA), triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) and urethane dimethacrylate (UDMA). This study compared the homopolymers formed from the monomers used in restorative dental composites in terms of their degree of conversion (DC) and reaction kinetics (by near infra-red spectroscopy, n=3), mechanical properties (flexural modulus and strength in three point-bending, FM and FS, respectively, n=15), water sorption and solubility (WS and SL, respectively - ISO 4049, n=5). Materials were made photopolymerizable by the addition of camphoroquinone/dimethylamine ethyl methacrylate. TEGDMA showed the highest DC, followed by BisEMA, UDMA and BisGMA, both at 10 min and at 24h (p<0.001). UDMA showed the highest rate of polymerization, followed by TEGDMA, BisEMA and BisGMA (H0=13.254, p<0.001). UDMA and TEGDMA presented similar FM, significantly higher (p<0.001) than BisEMA and BisGMA, which in turn present statistically similar values (p>0.001). For FS, UDMA presented the highest value (p<0.001), followed by TEGDMA, then by BisEMA and BisGMA, which were statistically similar (p>0.001). BisGMA showed the highest WS, and TEGDMA and BisEMA the lowest. UDMA was statistically similar to all (H0=16.074, p<0.001). TEGDMA presented the highest SL, followed by UDMA, BisGMA and BisEMA (p<0.001). The tested homopolymers presented different behaviors in terms of polymerization kinetics, flexural properties, water sorption and solubility. Therefore, the use of copolymers is justified in order to obtain high DC and mechanical properties, as well as good resistance to water degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-514
Number of pages7
JournalBrazilian dental journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2012


  • Degree of conversion
  • Dental materials
  • Dimethacrylates
  • Mechanical properties
  • Polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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