If you have an active restorative practice, it is a device that you use virtually every time you treat a patient. The right light can help you achieve success, while the converse is true – the wrong light can make your efforts more tedious and your results less consistent.

The selection of a curing light that fits your style of practicing remains one of the most important dental equipment purchases you will make. Curing lights allow us to initiate the polymerization reaction “on demand” for a vast array of materials. However, there is, perhaps, more misinformation and hype regarding this type of equipment compared to just about anything else we use on a daily basis.

Generates light when energy is applied to an atom raising an electron to a higher, unstable energy level. Electron will return to stable level by releasing light through a medium of argon gas. Special diodes (electronic devices that restrict current flow chiefly to one direction) that emit light when connected in a circuit.

With all the buzz these days over LEDs (one estimate is that 90% of all new lights being purchased in the U.S. are LEDs), the old reliable halogen curing light seems destined for the archives. It has been castigated for being heavy, still tethered to the base unit with a cord, noisy due to its fan, and possessing old technology.

On the other hand, LEDs are being touted as being on the leading edge of technology for numerous consumer and business applications. Along with nanotechnology, LEDs are blazing hot and getting hotter by the minute. It is difficult to dispute the attraction of LED dental curing lights.
Regular/Normal/Standard If a light has a high/boost/fast mode, the regular/normal/standard mode will be set at a power level somewhat lower. If a light does not have different power levels, then the regular mode will be the highest power level.

Adhesive or Low Touted as a safer energy level for curing adhesives that presumably do not require the high power used for composites and cements. It presumably is safer since this mode produces less heat.

Step Cure at low power (usually about 150mW/cm2) for 10 seconds, followed by an instant “step up” to a much higher power (usually maximum of light) for the rest of the curing interval.

Ramp Start curing at low power (usually about 150mW/cm2), followed by a linear increase to a higher power (usually maximum of light) for 10 seconds, and then stay at that high level for the rest of the curing interval.