New processing techniques for denture base acrylic resins have been introduced which have not comparatively quantified the residual monomer content. While proper processing keeps the residual monomer in a tolerable range for most patients, tissue irritation and reaction due to potentially higher residual monomer in these alternative techniques could be a clinical concern. Decreased degree of conversion may influence physical properties as well as biocompatibility. This investigation evaluated the residual monomer content of acrylic resins cured by three different polymerization modes. Materials (polymerization system) evaluated were: Lucitone 199® (conventional process), Accelar 20® (rapid boil-out), and Acron MC® (microwave). Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) was employed to determine the degree of conversion. All curing methods produced similar results (Lucitone 199® = 92.7% (0.21), Acron MC® = 92.6% (0.57), Accelar 20® = 90.9% (0.73). Conversion for Accelar 20® (rapid boil-out technique), though statistically different (P < 0.05, ANOVA) from the other two materials and polymerization techniques, was only slightly less. It is unlikely that the rapid boil-out technique would induce more adverse tissue responses than the other techniques included in this study.
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