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Supporting Your Practice

The Curing Light: A Keystone of the Modern Dental Practice

Dr. Richard Price
Professor, Dalhousie University

The keystone in an archway is the stone at the center that holds everything together. Without the keystone everything collapses. So too with the curing light in dental practice: if a resin restoration isn’t properly cured, everything that has been done before will go to waste.

In this episode of CDA Oasis Live, Dr. John O’Keefe invites Dr. Richard Price, Professor at the Department of Dental Clinical Sciences, Dalhousie University, to discuss some of the key factors in the successful use of the dental curing light.

Here are the key takeaways from the conversation…

  • Dentists are using light-cured resin restorations more and more in their practice. They are also using light-cured resins to cement indirect restorations, in orthodontics, and in preventive sealants. The success of these practices depends upon the effectiveness of the curing light.
  • Dental curing lights are classified medical devices. They are not all the same. It is important not to use an unapproved medical device on a patient.
  • No matter how good the curing light is, if you do not read the instructions and use the light properly you will get a poor result.
  • As a light passes through a composite or ceramic, the intensity falls off dramatically as the thickness of the material increases. There is a logarithmic decline in the amount of light transmission. A light that has twice the irradiance of another light cannot cure twice the depth.
  • Studies show that 20-30% of curing lights in dental offices are not maintained properly. Consider scheduling a visit from the rep to test your light and to check your technique is okay.

We hope you find the conversation useful. We welcome your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.

Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team



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