The absolute best in curing light technologies

September 20, 2013

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the way we provide treatment since the mid-1990s or so. While there were some advances in dentistry before that time, I truly believe the pure amount of changes we have seen in the last 10-20 years in our profession may well be more than there ever were before that time.

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the way we provide treatment since the mid-1990s or so. While there were some advances in dentistry before that time, I truly believe the pure amount of changes we have seen in the last 10-20 years in our profession may well be more than there ever were before that time.

The last decade has seen a tremendous change in curing technology with the majority of the advances occurring in the last 5 years or so.

Composite and adhesive dentistry have seen an explosion both in their use and in the science that has allowed them to become the most commonly placed restorative materials in a huge number of practices. Careful science and research from multiple sources has allowed tooth-colored materials to move from the realm of “pretty but unpredictable” into the category of “what I reach for first” for a large number of doctors.

There are several factors that can affect the longevity and overall success of bonded restorations. Among these factors are things such as: biologic contamination, oil contamination, voids on pulpal floor, incomplete bonding and over etching.

However, one of the factors that has really changed in recent years is curing lights, and I don’t think they are factored in as heavily in the success or failure of bonded restorations as they should be.

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

Shrinking footprints
We have seen an explosion in the amount of technology and the resulting equipment required to deliver it. If you’re lucky enough to have built a new office lately, you’ve been able to plan for this and avail yourself of more counter space. However, for many of us, that’s just not an option. This means the amount of countertop real estate is decreasing for the majority of offices.

Because of this, devices that actually take up less room than their predecessors are a bonus. Curing lights have decreased dramatically in size because of the proliferation of LED devices. This means more room to work when you need it most.

LED electronics
Most of today’s composites use camphorquinone as the photoinitiator. This chemical, often referred to as CPQ, requires a specific wavelength (color) of light to trigger it into starting polymerization of the composite resin. Because LEDs can be fine-tuned to produce just a specific wavelength or range of wavelengths, these curing devices now produce light where every photon that’s produced can be used in the curing process. This translates to better and more efficient curing. Many non-LED curing devices, such as fast halogen lights, produce lots of photons that are wasted because they are outside the range used by CPQ.

LED choices
The use of CPQ is very common by most manufacturers, but there are a few adhesive materials that use a different photoinitiator. Because of that, and the specifics of LEDs, there’s potential for a material to not be cured by a device designed to work only with CPQ. Fortunately, because LEDs can be created to produce different wavelengths, there are now several devices that can cure every resin-based material on the market. (To find out which photoinitiator your materials use, be sure to ask the manufacturer.)

Low energy
LEDs are incredibly energy efficient. This translates into the devices using less electricity than a device that uses some type of bulb with a filament. Interestingly enough, a bulb with a filament loses 90% of its energy as heat and generates only 10% as light.

Because LEDs are much more energy efficient, they don’t require nearly as much power. The result is that these devices can be powered by batteries rather than by AC current. This means a smaller footprint (see above), no cords, and being friendlier to the environment.

Easy access
I was once a fan of “gun-style” lights, probably because that’s what I grew up using. I was opposed to the “toothbrush style” lights that became popular about 10 years ago. However, you can teach this dog new tricks, and I have now come 180° in my beliefs.

I now am a big believer in the toothbrush style lights as they provide better access to difficult areas to reach…especially in the posterior.

One of the things about curing is the light needs to be as close and as parallel to the restoration as possible. If the light is even a few millimeters away, it can drastically reduce the curing efficiency, resulting in a composite that’s only partially cured. A resin that has undergone this type of curing is much more likely to cause sensitivity and have a much shorter clinical lifespan.

Because of their small size and LEDs that are frequently located right on the curing head, LED lights are superior at reaching and properly curing restorations.

bluephase® Style
With all of the features, power and efficiency of previous curing lights in the line, the bluephase® Style provides a slim, lightweight design. The ergonomic, high power cordless LED curing light is balanced to reduce the strain exerted on the hand and arm while curing. The new light probe design is said to allow for convenient access in hard-to-reach posterior areas. It also has an inductive charging system to make battery-related issues a thing of the past. The curing light is equipped with polywave™ LED technology to provide a broadband spectrum of 385-515 nm to cure all existing dental materials. The Click & Cure™ function allows for a fast convenient conversion from cordless to corded operation, in the event that the battery becomes depleted.

Ivoclar Vivadent Inc.
800-533-6825 

Hear why Amanda Seay, DDS, chose Ivoclar Vivadent's bluephase Style curing light

Demi™ Plus LED Curing Light
Referred to as the next generation in curing light technology, the Demi™ Plus LED Curing Light is powered by Demetron™ Technology. A positive contact charger guarantees a snug fit between the contacts on the handpiece and the charger base allowing you to get the most of every charge. A single charge provides 300 full charges, rechargeable cycles. The Valox resin exterior is a high-performance plastic that is lightweight yet highly durable. It also has an extended turbo light guide to improve access for posterior procedures. Periodic Level Shifting (PLS) technology drives cool, continuous high output to deliver a true 5-second cure for shades A3 and lighter without generating excess heat.

Kerr Corp.
800-537-7123 

Hear from Marty Jablow, DMD, about how the Demi Plus is saving him time

 

See more products on the next page ...

Elipar™ S10 LED Curing Light
Manufactured from a one-piece stainless steel casing, the  Elipar™ S10 LED Curing Light has no seams or vents where liquid can seep in. It is said to be

durable, virtually unbreakable, and the simple two-button operation provides one-cure mode for all indications and a tack-cure mode.

Equipped with 3mm and 10mm light guides, and an 8mm light guide that offers a 1,600 mW/cm(2) light intensity, the smooth, vent-free stainless steel exterior allows fast and easy disinfection between patients. The light’s high intensity allows fast curing of compatible materials in half the manufacturer’s recommended time. The casing is coated for long-term protection against fingerprints and stains.

3M ESPE
800-634-2249

Hear from Dr. Michael Pelke about the Elipar S10 LED Curing Light's proven durability

FLASHlite Magna 4.0
The FLASHlite Magna 4.0 LED curing light is powered by a new LED engine to deliver advanced beam collimation. Proprietary optics are said to reduce beam divergence to maximize curing power in deep preparations with more focused, more powerful and more effective curing. It has an average output of 1,200 mW/cm2 with a 10 mm beam width. It has  a more focused cure to result in stronger restorations and a more positive patient experience. It is said to be ideal for curing veneers, orthodontic brackets and large restorative cases, and  simplifies curing posterior restorations by allowing clinicians to cure larger areas without overlapping lights.

DenMat
800-445-0345 • denmat.com

DenMat Product Manager Andrew Aradi explains how the FLASHlite Magna's proprietary optics work

SmartLite® Max LED Curing Light
The SmartLite® Max LED Curing Light is equipped with dual wavelength technology to provide curing confidence for all restorative materials. It also features high output of up to 1,400 mW/cm2, a built-in radiometer, four different output modes and multiple time settings. It can be used either cordlessly or corded and is said to be economically priced.

DENTSPLY Caulk
800-532-2855  

CURE, TC-24
For high performance in an economical package, the CURE, TC-24 curing light can be fitted directly into the delivery system. With 1,200 mW/cm², it uses an LED light with 4 light emitting diodes to generate a broad light spectrum for compatibility with composites ranging from 440 nm - 465 nm and polymerization within 6 seconds. Audible beeps occur every 2 seconds during use and the digital timer can be adjusted between 2 and 20 seconds. It runs in high mode to cure materials and low mode for curing near the pulp.

Spring Health Products Inc.
800-800-1680 • 

VALO Cordless LED Curing Light
With a battery-operated, cordless wand for mobility, the VALO Cordless LED Curing Light produces a high intensity 395 nm - 480 nm light. It can polymerize all light-cured dental materials, penetrate porcelain and cure underlying resin cements. The light comes with rechargeable lithium iron phosphate batteries and a battery charger. The handpiece can rest in a standard dental unit bracket or be custom-mounted using the included bracket.

Ultradent Products Inc.
800-552-5212