Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Dental Material Curing Lights Beyond the Sales Pitch!

No, they are not all the same and yes, they can be expensive. A craftsman (craftsperson for the PC crowd) does their best work with the best tools. Just like handpieces you can use a $50.00 tool or a $1500.00 one, the difference will be the quality and predictability of you restorative procedures. Your perception of quality vs cost starts with the sales pitch.

The Sales Pitch … When I attended Restorative Update 2017 with Dr. Stace Lind last October, my thoughts about curing lights and manufacturer claims were confirmed. Dental light cured materials are chemical compositions and the curing process is a chemical reaction. The laws of physics require a certain amount of exposure time of particular light waves for the chemical reaction to take place quickly. If a manufacturer claims that their system will reduce curing time because it is so powerful, you should think twice. Large manufacturers can make that claim when using their materials because the products are developed and tested using their lights. However, no light curing system cures all materials the same way and excessive curing can cause a burn effect. It is important to know how the materials you are using react to your curing lights.

Curing Lights … There are 4 components that separate a $50.00 system and one that costs $1500.00.

  1. The LED Crystals … They need to be flawless. Just like diamonds there are different qualities. Imperfect crystal will burn hotter in fault areas causing that part of the crystal to burn-out. You will not notice this but the light wave will not be balanced and the output will be diminished.
  2. The Crystal Housing … Quality lights incase the LED crystals in metal col- lars. Electricity powers the crystal and they do get hot internally. Plastic and low quality metals will warp reducing the lights ability to function correctly.
  3. The Glass Light Guide … Again quality is the issue. This is a no brainer, flawless glass rods are a must. If the glass is not pure the best light in the world will not preform. As a side note, keep the business end of the light guide clean.
  4. The Timer … This is the most underrated part of a curing light. You don’t want to under or over cure and when your dealing with seconds, 1 or 2 could make a difference. Let’s be honest, when your light is set at 10 seconds, do know if it is 8 or 12? Reliability costs more.

Testing Your Light … Different lights have different effects on curing dental materials. It is recommended that you have a radiometer to test output but you also should have a computer based comparison study done. The computerized testing & report are free, done on-site, and will help support the quality of your work. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

 

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February 11, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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