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Mind Your Business Oral Health Research Restorative Dentistry

Using LED Lights in Your Office: Are Your Eyes at Risk?

By Dr. Richard Price

In 2011 researchers at Dalhousie University highlighted the potential ocular damage to dental professionals from dental curing lights. ‘Evaluation of Ocular Hazards from 4 Types of Curing Lights

The same lead researchers examined the effect magnification loupes have on the ‘blue light hazard’ and presented two papers at the 2013 International Association for Dental Research (IADR) meeting:

  1. Effect of Loupes on Ocular Blue Light Hazard: Direct Viewing
  2. Effect of Loupes on Ocular Blue Light Hazard: Indirect Viewing

A recent review article published in the Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association The Possible Ocular Hazards of LED Dental Illumination Applications’ warns dentists about the potential ocular dangers when using LED illumination in their offices.

Since the use of LEDs in dentistry is relatively new, the cumulative effect of these risks on the ocular health of dental professionals has yet to be determined.

Would you like to see Canadian funding agencies support research to examine if LED curing lights, bleaching lights, operatory lights or headlamps are damaging your eyes?


  1. Chamorro E, Bonnin-Arias C, Perez-Carrasco MJ, Munoz de Luna J, Vazquez D, Sanchez-Ramos C. Effects of light-emitting diode radiations on human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro. Photochem Photobiol. 2013;89(2):468-473.
  2. Behar-Cohen F, Martinsons C, Vienot F, Zissis G, Barlier-Salsi A, Cesarini JP, et al. Light-emitting diodes (LED) for domestic lighting: any risks for the eye? Prog Retin Eye Res. 2011;30(4):239-57.



  1. Gary Kerhoulas April 9, 2014

    research should be commenced asap.

  2. Robert Smith December 21, 2014

    Very interesting. I spent quite a while trying to find good research in this area. The dearth of this is concerning when magnification is mixed with high powered LED loupe lights and blue dental curing lights. More research is needed for formal safety regulations to be published.


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