A dynamic Monte Carlo model for predicting radiant exposure distribution in dental composites: Model development and verifications

Yin Chu Chen, Jack L. Ferracane, Scott A. Prahl

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Photo-cured dental composites are widely used in dental practices to restore teeth due to the esthetic appearance of the composites and the ability to cure in situ. However, their complex optical characteristics make it difficult to understand the light transport within the composites and to predict the depth of cure. Our previous work showed that the absorption and scattering coefficients of the composite changed after the composite was cured. The static Monte Carlo simulation showed that the penetration of radiant exposures differed significantly for cured and uncured optical properties. This means that a dynamic model is required for accurate prediction of radiant exposure in the composites. The purpose of this study was to develop and verify a dynamic Monte Carlo (DMC) model simulating light propagation in dental composites that have dynamic optical properties while photons are absorbed. The composite was divided into many small cubes, each of which had its own scattering and absorption coefficients. As light passed through the composite, the light was scattered and absorbed. The amount of light absorbed in each cube was calculated using Beer's Law and was used to determine the next optical properties in that cube. Finally, the predicted total reflectance and transmittance as well as the optical property during curing were verified numerically and experimentally. Our results showed that the model predicted values agreed with the theoretical values within 1% difference. The DMC model results are comparable with experimental results within 5% differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
Pages (from-to)90-101
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - Jul 21 2005
EventLasers in Dentistry XI - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2005Jan 23 2005


  • Depth of cure
  • Dynamic optical property
  • Photo-cured dental composite
  • Photon propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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