This laboratory study examined the effects of curing lights with different light intensities and changing flow rate on the increase in pulpal temperature during the light curing process and the rate of the subsequent decrease in temperature after the termination of light curing. The tip of a temperature sensor was positioned on the pulpal dentinal wall of the buccal side of the maxillary premolar. Metal tubes were inserted in the palatal and buccal root of the tooth, one for water inflow and the other for water outflow. The tubes were connected to a pump to control the flow rate. The water flow rate was set to 4.2 μl/minute, 28 μl/minute or 70 μl/minute. At each flow rate, the unprepared tooth was light cured from the buccal side 1 nun from the buccal surface, using four different curing lights. The temperature data were recorded and stored on a computer every second for three minutes. The curing lights that were used were: Astralis 10 (QTHhigh, Ivoclar Vivadent), Bluephase 16i (LEDconv, Ivoclar Vivadent) and two experimental LED-curing lights (LEDexp2000, LEDexp3000, Ivoclar Vivadent). The power densities were 1200 mW/cm2, 1600 mW/cm2, 2000 mW/cm2 and 3000 mW/cm2, respectively. The curing lights, LEDconV, LEDexp2000 and LEDexp3000 were activated for 60 seconds, and the QTHhigh was activated for 30 seconds. The maximum intrapulpal temperature (TMAX) and of temperature change at 30 seconds after turning off the light (S30LO) were analyzed by two-way ANOVA with a post-hoc Tukey test (p<0.05). The influencing factors were the flow rates and curing lights. Results: The T MAX ranged from 41.0°C to 53.5°C. There was a difference between the curing lights (p<0.05), with LEDexp3000> LED exp2000> LEDconv> QTHhigh. There was no difference in Tmax between the different flow rates (p>0.05). Both the curing lights and flow rates affected the S30LO) (p<0.05). The S30LO was LEDexp3000> LEDexp2000> LEDconv, QTHhigh (p<0.05). The S30LO, at 70 μl/minutes was higher than at 4.2 μl/minutes and 28 μl/minutes (p<0.05). Clinical Implication: Because the increase in temperature is directly related to the light intensity and exposure time, curing devices with high power density (>1200 mW/cm2) should only be activated for a short period of time (<15 seconds) even in teeth without cavity preparation' The flow rate had only a negligible effect on the temperature increase.
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