The literature describes transillumination as a means of curing orthodontic light-cured composite adhesive. The literature also recommends a 2 to 3 times increase in light exposure time when light curing using transillumination. The purpose of this study was to determine the transmittance of the curing light through human enamel and the effect of transillumination on the bond strength of orthodontic brackets. One hundred extracted human maxillary incisors were used in this study. Brackets with orthodontic composite adhesive were placed on the labial surface of the incisors and light cured from either the labial or the lingual (transillumination). The control sample was cured from the labial for a total of 40 seconds of light exposure. Experimental samples were cured from the lingual (transillumination) for 20, 30, 40, or 50 seconds. The shear-peel bond strengths were tested at 30 minutes and 24 hours after light application. The results of this study demonstrated no statistically significant difference between 40 seconds of labial curing and most of the lingually cured groups. The only experimental group that differed statistically from the control group was the 40-second lingual cure group tested at 30 minutes after light application. Actual bond strengths, however, were lower for all experimental samples. The samples tested at 24 hours that received 50 seconds of transillumination were nearly the same as the control values. This study demonstrated that transillumination of maxillary incisors is an acceptable method of curing orthodontic adhesive, particularly if the exposure time is increased from 40 to 50 seconds.
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