The sensitivities of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Knoop hardness, water sorption, and resin leaching were compared for their ability to distinguish differences between composite samples cured through different thicknesses of overlying resin. The method developed allowed samples of light-cured composite to be made with controlled conversion for parameter testing, and eliminated effects of resin lost to slurry during polishing or an increase in conversion as a result of heat generated during grinding. Sensitivity to differences was greatest and equal for FTIR spectroscopy and Knoop hardness, while resin leaching proved to have moderate sensitivity, and water sorption none. The ability of these parameters to predict monomer conversion as measured by FTIR spectroscopy was also determined. Knoop hardness proved the best conversion predictor, resin leaching the next best, and water sorption the worst. Water sorption values did not vary with changes in specimen conversion.
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