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Research Studies About Our Reusable Curing Light Shield

Todays high-powered LED curing lights are as much as 25 times as intense as the quartz-halogen curing lights from a decade ago.  They are essential in dental offices, used to cure composite fillings, orthodontic brackets, cements, sealants, and more.  While this increased intensity has reduced cure times, the risks for viewing even glimpses of this intense blue light have risen dramatically.  Ocular exposure to this light can have far-reaching negative effects for your eyesight, work, and the safety of your team members.  We invite you to review the following articles for more information:

Effective Use of Dental Curing Lights: A Guide for the Dental Practitioner, ADA Professional Product Review

In his article, “Potential Health Problems Related to Light Curing,” Frederick A. Rueggeberg discusses the dangers of the blue light from your curing device. Blue light that falls around 440 nm is the most damaging wavelength for a person’s retina, and consistent exposure has been demonstrated to contribute to macular degeneration and retinal aging. By filtering this light with protective shields, doctors protect themselves and their staff members while also ensuring that their curing technique is optimal through safe observation.

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Improve Resin Curing with Better Techniques and New Lights. Gordon J. Christensen

Dr. Christensen recommends that clinicians utilize protective eyewear when curing restorations so that doctors and assistants are able to observe closely and maintain an accurate position without damaging their eyesight.  Using eye protection, the clinician should watch the tip of the curing light during use to ensure complete resin polymerization.

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The effects of blue light on the retina and the use of protective filtering glasses, Council on Dental Materials, Instruments, and Equipment

Ophthalmic research suggests that short wavelength light may contribute to macular degeneration and premature aging of a person’s retina, as well as the development of cataracts. It is strongly suggested that clinicians utilize eye protective devices  to protect themselves against these effects when curing.

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Visible light-curing unit

Dental Product Spotlight

In this review of a curing light, users are instructed to avoid prolonged exposure because there is a potential risk of retinal damage.  Protective shields are strongly recommended.

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Visible light-cured composites and activated units. Council on Dental Materials, Instruments, and Equipment

Precautions should be taken when relying on photo-activating light units. Animal studies and human observations have suggested that retinal photochemical injury is a possibility from consistent, chronic exposure to blue light that’s emitted in the range of 400-500 nm.

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Effectiveness of using a patient simulator to teach light curing. Richard B. Price, Howard E. Strassler, Hannah L. Price, Sachin Seth, Chris J. Lee

When operators are able to consistently and safely observe their work without worrying about potential damage to their retinas, they’ll deliver a greater amount of energy to the restoration and will better polymerize the materials they cure.

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Health hazards associated with curing light in the dental clinic. Ellen M. Bruzell Roll, Nils Jacobsen, Arne Hensten-Pettersen

The effects of the ‘blue light hazard’ can be comparable to the extent of an injury suffered during direct exposure to ecliptic sunlight at the right intensity. While ill effects may be temporary in nature, permanent injury after repeated exposure is possible including the development of cataracts and early aging of the ocular lens. When a patient has progressed past middle age, this vulnerability increases.

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Optical hazard evaluation of dental curing lights. Paul Eriksen, Patrick M. Moscato, James K. Franks, David H. Sliney

During an evaluation of several common brands of dental curing lights, it was determined that while the UV hazard was virtually nonexistent, blue light and thermal hazards were found to have the most pronounced adverse effects at short wavelengths. Protective shields like eyewear are recommended for operators.

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The Dental Curing Light: A Potential Health Risk. Richard B. T. Price, Daniel Labrie, Ellen M. Bruzell, David H. Sliney, Howard E. Strassler

This study was conducted to determine the effects of magnification loupes in regards to the ‘blue light hazard’ when the light from a curing unit is reflected off of a patient’s tooth. The findings determined that the loupes increased the blue light irradiance received by the eye.  Anyone who uses a dental light-curing unit is strongly encouraged to use a protective method that has been designed to filter out potentially dangerous wavelengths.

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Understanding Light Curing, Part 2: Delivering Predictable and Successful Restorations. Howard E. Strassler, Richard B. Price

Blue light near 440 nm is the most damaging wavelength for the retina, and because this is the peak wavelength in many LED curing lights, professionals must be vigilant with their safety protocols to prevent lasting ocular damage. In fact, even doctors who practice the “look away” method and only glimpse the first second of the light’s operation exceed their maximum daily cumulative exposure in just 7 cycles of curing.

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