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Dental Materials Restorative Dentistry

Light Curing: So Easy, So Dangerous!

In these videos, Dr. Richard Price, Professor and Head of Fixed Prosthodontics in the Department of Dental Clinical Sciences at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Dentistry, shares excellent clinical information related to light curing. The video has been divided into short theme section as follows: 

Light curing so easy, so dangerous!

Complete video (27 minutes)

The perfect storm

The success of 122+ million restorations and 16+ million sealants placed annually depends on the curing lights and how it is used. Do we have any evidence that resin restorations are not lasting as long as they could and should? 

Various curing modes and irradience

We are all familiar with the continuous curing mode where the light is on delivering the same intensity throughout the entire curing time. We also have high energy pulse curing where a very high irradience is provided for a very short time. 

Energy density

What’s energy density? If you multiply the irradience by the time the light is being used, you will get the energy density and that’s reported in J/cm2. So how much energy is required to cure a resin?

Light curing seems so easy!

One of the problems we have is that light curing appears so easy. Here we can see an example of less than ideal light curing. But even with this less-than-ideal technique, we see that the top of the resin appears hard. When we turn it over and we look at the bottom, we’ll see the bottom is actually quite soft!

The operator, Dental radiometeres, and MARC

Were you ever taught how to use a curing light? And if you did receive any instruction on how to use a curing light, what were you told? 

Blue light is dangerous

What do I mean by curing light could be dangerous? Well, blue light can cause photoretinitis, premature aging of the retina, and macular degeneration. 


Light curing is more complicated that it appears!


Do you need further information related to this subject? Do you have any comments or suggestions? Email us at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca

Your are invited to comment on this post and provide further insights by posting in the comment box which you will find by clicking on “Leave a reply“ below. You are welcome to remain anonymous and your email address will not be posted.



  1. Larry F August 2, 2013

    Worth the 27 minutes it takes.

    1. Dalhousie Prosthodontics August 2, 2013

      Thank you. We have an article published in the Professional Products Review of the American Dental Association that we are trying to make available to Oasis members. Keep an eye out for it.

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