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How to Use a Dental Curing Light Effectively

In order to achieve optimal results, dental curing lights must be used correctly. Read on to find out more about how to use a dental curing light so that the resin-based restorations you place in patients’ mouths will be as successful as manufacturers’ claims.

How a dentist uses a light-curing unit makes a large difference in the amount of energy a restoration receives. Even when the device is handled correctly, if the energy level is insufficient, then the resulting restoration may not attain expected longevity; this may explain why resin-based restorations last only five to seven years when actual life expectancy should be 15 years or more.


To ensure that patients’ RBCs achieve optimal performance, it is essential for dental professionals to view the curing light tip while they are curing. This allows the clinician to place the curing light tip in the optimal position to deliver the maximum amount of energy to the restoration being cured. Studies have shown that looking away while curing frequently allows the curing light tip to drift slightly, causing inadequate amounts of energy to be delivered to the restoration.


Using a curing light accomplishes two things. In the first place, it makes sure that the resin cures properly and adheres evenly. When applying fillings, this is critical to keep the filling in place in the mouth. For sealants, the curing light limits the risk of cracks and other problems with the sealant. With adhesives for implants and braces, the rapid, even cure is also designed to limit problems in the future.


The dental curing light also increases patient comfort by rapidly curing resins so that the patient is not forced to sit in discomfort while the resin sets. Since the mouth usually needs to be held open wide and may be dry for the procedure, patients usually want the procedure to end as quickly as possible so that they can close their mouths and remoisturize the dried oral membranes. Using a curing light gets patients in and out of the portable folding chair quickly so that the experience of irritation and pain is limited.


Curing lights in use today provide very intense blue light and very short cure times, so even a slight drift reduces the amount of energy delivered to the restoration by a significant percentage. Using The Orbiter? to efficiently view what you are curing can allow you to deliver superior restorations to your patients, while safely protecting your vision and the vision of your team members.


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