Fast curing has been accused of putting too much stress on the bond of a restoration to the tooth. If you apply too much light to a restorative material, it will presumably shrink more quickly, opening gaps at the tooth-restoration interface, causing white lines and microleakage. High power has also been accused of inducing cracks in thin porcelain veneers. To test these issues, we performed Class I & II microleakage studies, plus one with porcelain veneers:
Class I White Lines and Microleakage
Eleven different curing protocols using five different lights and four different restorative materials were investigated as to whether any variables could be isolated to predict the incidence of white lines at the margins and/or microleakage. We found that, while there is a general association between white lines and microleakage, it is not consistent across composite materials and curing protocols. In other words, there are too many other variables to merely conclude that if you eliminate the white lines, you will also eliminate microleakage.
Class II Microleakage
The same 11 different curing protocols and five different lights were used as in the Class I study, but with this project, we used three different flowables on the gingival wall and investigated as to whether any variables could be isolated to predict the incidence of microleakage. We found that neither the dental curing light nor the curing protocol produced any statistically significant differences in microleakage.
Veneer Crazing and Microleakage
Porcelain veneers, standardized to 0.7mm in thickness, were bonded to teeth using either a halogen light for 60 seconds or a plasma arc light for 15 or 30 seconds. The results showed no craze lines in any veneers when viewed under the stereomicroscope at 10x, both before and after thermocycling and staining. In addition, with margins at the CEJ, all the microleakage scores were very low, signifying no differences between the lights.
Base Unit/Battery Charger Typically sits on the counter in the treatment room and includes the electronics that operate the light. For cordless LEDs, its function may be as the recharger. It may have the timer, some type of holder for the gun or wand, and the power switch (unless it is functioning as a battery charger, in which case it would not have a power switch since it would always be “on”).
Since counter space in treatment rooms is usually at a premium, the smaller base units are favored. Timers should be easily seen and accessible for changing. The gun or wand holder should keep these items secure, but allow easy placement and retrieval at the same time. Built-in radiometers are also featured in many base units.