Understanding the Effect of Thermal Treatment on the Physico-Mechanical Properties of Light-Cured Composites for use in Indirect Restorations

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  • Chloé Hardy
  • David Dive
  • Gaëtane Leloup
  • Julian Leprince
  • Luc Randolph


Objectives: To study the potential benefits of a post-cure thermal treatment on key physico-mechanical properties of light-cured resin-based composites for use in indirect restorations, a CAD/CAM composite block being used as control. Material and methods: Six commercial composites were light-cured before being thermally treated in a furnace at 90°C during 15 minutes (CAD/CAM composite used as a control). The properties measured with or without thermal treatment were: degree of conversion, flexural strength, elastic modulus, Vickers microHardness, organic mass content and eluted and absorbed mass before and after storage in ethanol. The data were analysed using one-way ANOVA, and Weibull distributions. Results: A general increase in the properties measured was observed for all materials after thermal treatment, except a general decrease in mass elution and absorption (most statistically significant: p<0.05). Weibull
analysis showed a tendency (p>0.05) of increased reliability of the flexural strength after thermal treatment for all materials. Conclusion: The present data revealed clear physico-mechanical improvements after thermal treatment of light-cured composites. Such method could hence be beneficially used to produce indirect restorations as compared to stratifying and light-curing the same composites in situ. However, most properties of the control CAD/CAM composite were higher, but CAD/CAM technologies aren’t available everywhere.

Mechanical Properties
Thermal Treatment
Composite Resins
Degree of Conversion
CAD/CAM Composite