What should be the approximate fluoride content in % of a mouth rinse when used daily?
Brain of the Week – Science
Curious about which steps you should be taking to make sure your curing light is working properly? Here’s everything you need to know.
Think about the dental equipment you use on a daily basis. Which tool would you say is the most important? There may be quite a few different options that come to mind, but there is one tool that you might not think of: the curing light.
Light curing is a critical part of restorative dentistry, and yet it’s frequently the step that is left in the shadows. Many dentists assume their curing light is working properly without taking the time to test it.
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding curing lights, including that their output remains the same over time. This is simply untrue. All curing lights, no matter what level of quality they are, will degrade with use over time. The problem with this is that unless you are frequently testing your curing light, the tool you use every day could be underperforming, potentially compromising the final result
Frequently testing curing lights should be a standard best practice in all dental offices. Unfortunately, there are many dentists who simply rely on the output that is listed in the specifications provided by the manufacturer which give them false confidence in a curing light that may not be performing at the level it should be.
1 in 5 curing lights significantly differ from what the manufacturer states1. Standard (ISO) lights should be within +/- 20% of stated output. For example, if the manufacturer says the output should be 1,000 mW/cm, then the only acceptable range is from 800-1,200 mW/cm. 1 in 4 curing lights are outside of that 20% range1.
Underperforming curing lights can lead to negative outcomes that hurt both you and your patient. Resulting problems can include material discoloring, debonding from the tooth structure, microleakage, higher risk of fractures leading to cases of postoperative sensitivity and secondary decay.2,3
What should you be doing to help avoid these poor outcomes and ensure your curing light is properly functioning? Here’s a checklist that every dentist should keep handy.
Implement Proper Curing Techniques
Test Your Curing Light
Purchase High-Quality Lights
In essence, curing lights are similar to cars in a couple of ways: they require frequent maintenance and care in order to help them continue to perform at a high level, and the level of output is directly related to their ability to get the job done successfully. A few of the key steps to keep in mind include cleaning them after every patient, performing daily testing, purchasing new lights as needed, as well as referring to Instructions for Use (IFU) for complete product information.
By implementing these proactive measures to keep this key tool working successfully, you will help ensure that your patients are receiving the best care possible by giving curing lights the attention they deserve and require.
Brain of the Week – Science
Curing lights, prep depth, material viscosity – do you know all the factors that can impact the success of your…
Brain of the Week – History