Dental curing lights, and the science behind them, have seen amazing growth and changes in the last few years. Here’s a look at some of the amazing things that have happened and why you should be aware of them.

The need for a reliable and effective curing light has grown as resin composites and light-cured materials such as sealants and adhesives have grown in popularity. Today the dental curing light is a key part of any dental practice’s armamentarium.

There are many options to consider when selecting the right curing light for your dental practice, but the focus of your search should be to find a light compatible with your preferred restorative materials. A light that operates at a variety of wavelengths will cure the largest number of materials, but it remains important to inquire if the light you want to purchase will work with the photoinitiators in the materials you use. Beyond the actual light the unit produces you also will want to decide if a cordless model is a good fit for you practice.

Another consideration is the body style of the light with pistol grip and wand styles the most common options. The light you choose should be comfortable in your hands and easy for you to maneuver so you can cure restorations throughout your patients’ mouths. A final consideration should be the construction of the light and the warranty backing its performance. You want to be sure your light will work whenever you need it.

Minimize heat by having the assistant direct a stream of air or a high-volume vacuum over the tooth crown during light curing. Placing a wet cotton roll directly on the tooth crown opposite the side of exposure will also lessen temperature rise, but not to the same extent as using air.

Minimize direct exposure to light sources using effective “blue-blocking” eyeglasses or shields for the clinician and patient.

Determine the loss of beam intensity with distance by holding the light guide at different distances from a dental curing radiometer. Curing potential of a restorative material depends on total energy received. Determine power at tip end, and multiply that by the recommended exposure duration — the product is the light energy intensity delivered. When moving the tip away, measure that power level and divide it into the light energy intensity calculated above. The result will be the exposure duration needed to account for power loss with increasing distance.

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By Admin