The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of mold diameter on depth of cure of a resin-based composite material for varying amounts of irradiation. A resin-based composite was light-cured for 10–80 s in stainless-steel molds of either 6 mm or 4 mm in diameter and then dark-stored for 24 h. Specimens were then scraped back and the length of the cured specimens was measured to provide depth of cure (DSB). Radiant exposure to each of the mold diameters was determined by measuring the power. The DSB values using the 4-mm molds were lower than those of the 6-mm molds. The average difference between the two groups for each irradiation time was 0.45 ± 0.02 mm. A fixed depth of cure required about 39% more irradiation time for the 4-mm mold than for the 6-mm mold but 75% more radiant exposure. The difference in cure depth for a fixed radiant exposure was 0.79 mm. A better comparison of depth of cure is obtained by using identical radiant exposures for different mold diameters. It is believed that greater loss of light by absorption at the stainless-steel cylinder walls for the 4-mm-diameter cylinders accounts for the lower depth of cure when compared with the 6-mm molds.
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