This study compared the temperature increase in a pulp chamber as a result of using various light-curing units during resin composite polymerization, and it determined the effect of remaining dentin thickness on temperature rise. A Class II occlusodistal cavity with a remaining dentin thickness of 2 nun was prepared in an extracted human mandibular molar. A 2-mm layer of fine hybrid resin composite was placed on the floor of the proximal box. A K-type thermocouple was inserted into pulp chambers filled with heat sink compound, and pulp chamber temperature rise (starting temperature: 37.0 +/- 0.1 degrees C) during polymerization of the composite was measured. The light-curing units tested included two halogen lights, Spectrum 800 and Elipar Trilight (Standard and Exponential mode); a light-emitting diode (LED, Elipar Freelight) and a plasma arc (Virtuoso, Xenon Power Arc). Irradiation time was 40 seconds for the halogen and LED lights and 3 seconds for the plasma arc light. Five measurements were carried out for every light-curing unit. The same experimental design was conducted after the cavity preparation was modified, leaving a 1-mm. thick dentin layer. The Kruskal-Wallis and multiple comparison tests were used to evaluate the differences among the tested curing units. Mann Whitney-U tests were used to compare the mean temperature rise in each curing unit for different remaining dentin thicknesses.