Shining a light on high volume photocurable materials

William M. Palin, Julian G. Leprince, Mohammed A. Hadis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
886 Downloads (Pure)


Spatial and temporal control is a key advantage for placement and rapid setting of light-activated resin composites. Conventionally, placement of multiple thin layers (<2mm) reduces the effect of light attenuation through highly filled and pigmented materials to increase polymerisation at the base of the restoration. However, and although light curing greater than 2mm thick layers is not an entirely new phenomenon, the desire amongst dental practitioners for even more rapid processing in deep cavities has led to the growing acceptance of so-called "bulk fill" (4-6mm thick) resin composites that are irradiated for 10-20s in daily clinical practice. The change in light transmission and attenuation during photopolymerisation are complex and related to path length, absorption properties of the photoinitiator and pigment, optical properties of the resin and filler and filler morphology. Understanding how light is transmitted through depth is therefore critical for ensuring optimal material properties at the base of thick increments. This article will briefly highlight the advent of current commercial materials that rationalise bulk filling techniques in dentistry, the relationship between light transmission and polymerisation and how optimal curing depths might be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDental Materials
Early online date14 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2018


  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • resin composite
  • bulk fill photopolymerization
  • photochemistry
  • photoinitiator
  • transmittance
  • absorption
  • pigment
  • frontal polymerization
  • depth of cure


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