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Dental Materials Issues & People Supporting Your Practice

What are THE key factors to consider when buying a new curing light?

Panel ImageIn the following video conversation, a panel of experts, including Drs. Howard Strassler, Joe Oxman, and Fred Rueggeberg, spoke with Dr. John O’Keefe, Director of Knowledge Networks at CDA, about THE key factors to consider when buying a new curing light. 


Panel Discussion Highlights

All lights are not created equally and affect the quality of cure of composite restorations. Here’s what you need to know.

Access and Ergonomics

Light tips should access all aspects of the tooth’s surface easily and still emit light at right angles to the restoration’s surface. The light should also be easy to use in all patients (children and adults) who may present with various limitations.


The chosen light should have enough intensity to ensure there is a comparable cure at the bottom and top of the restoration.  Aim for intensity values between 750-2000 mW/cm2.

Blue light vs. Polywave light

The curing light should be compatible for use with the restorative material that is being used. Curing units that emit the blue wavelength of light penetrate into composite resin and effectively activate photons and camphor quinone photoinitiators.  Polywave units  that also emit violet light with blue light do not penetrate composite as well but, can activate alternate photoinitiators within the composite materials along with the camphor quinone initiators.

Beam profile

The beam profile of the light tip should be homogeneous over the tip and at clinically relevant distances (3-10mm) to cure the restoration evenly.

Watch the video 



Dr. Howard Strassler

Professor and Director of Operative Dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry  in the Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry.  Dr. Strassler is the Editor-at-Large for the Benco’s Incisal Edge and has a regular column- Hints from Howard where he presents a wide variety of topics from clinical materials to the philosophy and practice of dentistry. For the past thirteen years Dr. Strassler has been recognized by Dentistry Today as one of the top 100 speakers for CE programs in the United States. He is a Fellow in the Academy of Dental Materials, Academy of Operative Dentistry and International Association of Dental Research.  Dr. Strassler was the Academy of General Dentistry’s Year 2000 recipient of the Thaddeus V. Weclew Honorary Fellowship. He is a consultant and clinical evaluator to over 15 dental manufacturers. Dr. Strassler has published over 540 articles in the field of restorative dentistry and innovations in dental practice and has coauthored eight chapters in textbooks. He has presented over 525 programs, including most the major programs throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

oxman 2014Dr. Joe Oxman

Joe Oxman received his Ph.D. in Organic (photo) chemistry from Northwestern University in 1983 and has been employed by 3M oral care for more than three decades. He is currently a Corporate Scientist with 3M ESPE. He developed a number of dental and non-dental technologies and materials and is considered a global expert in photocurable systems, nanotechnology, structural composites, hard tissue adhesives, resin modified glass ionomer materials, and shrinkage/shrinkage stress. Dr. Oxman has received several prestigious National and 3M Corporate Honors and has been invited to lecture and teach nationally and internationally for more than 250 keynotes, presentations and classes. He was also instrumental in co-establishing the National Science Foundation Cooperative Research Center on “Fundamentals & Applications of Photopolymerization” and served as a coach and judge for the Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge Competition from 2009-2015. Dr. Oxman serves as the 3M Director of Research for Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB) at the University of Minnesota.



rueggeberg colorDr. Frederick A. Rueggeberg

Dr. Rueggeberg received his dental degree from Emory University in 1979 after which he maintained a private dental practice. His Master’s Degree in Biomaterials Science was obtained in 1987 at the University of Michigan, after which he joined The Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry (currently the College of Dental Medicine at Georgia Regent’s University), where he is a tenured, full Professor and Section Director of Dental Materials. Dr. Rueggeberg has authored or co-authored over 170 publications in peer-reviewed dental research journals, contributed to 2 textbook chapters, and is a Fellow in the Academy of Dental Materials. Since 1992, he has given over 160 invited presentations at the State, National, and International levels, many of which incorporated a hands-on learning component. Dr. Rueggeberg’s expertise and major interests focus on photopolymerization aspects in dentistry, both in the fundamental sciences and in their applied, clinical aspects.


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