Curing lights, and the science behind them, have seen amazing growth and changes in the last few years. Here’s a look at some of the amazing things that have happened and why you should be aware of them.

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the way we provide treatment since the mid-1990s or so. While there were some advances in dentistry before that time, I truly believe the pure amount of changes we have seen in the last 10-20 years in our profession may well be more than there ever were before that time.

Dental curing lights are most often categorized by the types of light they use for curing. Halogen Curing Lights use blue light wavelengths between 400 and 500 nm, and because these lights generate heat, they often feature cooling fans. LED dental curing lights are quickly becoming the most common type of light. These lights use LEDs which provide a wide array of wavelengths for curing a variety of material types. They generate less heat than halogen lights and rarely require a cooling fan. Plasma Curing Lights are another option designed for high speed curing.

Along with the different types of curing lights, you also can consider different curing tips to allow your light to reach different areas of the mouth and cure different restoration sizes. Another consideration is light meter used to ensure your curing light remains calibrated to your chosen frequency.

There are many options to consider when selecting the right curing light for your dental practice, but the focus of your search should be to find a light compatible with your preferred restorative materials. A light that operates at a variety of wavelengths will cure the largest number of materials, but it remains important to inquire if the light you want to purchase will work with the photoinitiators in the materials you use. Beyond the actual light the unit produces you also will want to decide if a cordless model is a good fit for you practice.

Another consideration is the body style of the light with pistol grip and wand styles the most common options. The light you choose should be comfortable in your hands and easy for you to maneuver so you can cure restorations throughout your patients’ mouths. A final consideration should be the construction of the light and the warranty backing its performance. You want to be sure your light will work whenever you need it.

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