Clinical Tip: New curing lights can create excessive pulpal heat!

May 21, 2010

By Dr. Gordon Christensen

For about 10 years, plasma arc curing lights have dominated the rapid resin curing market, curing typical 2 mm layers of resin in about three to five seconds. Fast curing has been criticized by some for alleged challenges, including cracks in the teeth and degeneration of resin. During these 10 years, the criticisms have been shown to be statistically significant but not clinically significant. Numerous new LED fast curing lights are currently on the market. Although they can create potentially dangerous heat in the pulp, they are excellent from a clinical standpoint — saving time, money, and frustration.

When using a fast-curing light, place a moderate air stream from your air syringe at the same time you turn the light on. The pulp temperature will not rise.

March/April 2010 Guide for Preferred Clients
Vol. 15, Issue 2

Dr. Christensen is a practicing prosthodontist in Provo, Utah, and dean of the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. He is the founder and director of Practical Clinical Courses, an international continuing education organization initiated in 1981 for dental professionals. Dr. Christensen is a cofounder (with his wife, Rella) and senior consultant of CLINICIANS REPORT (formerly Clinical Research Associates), which since 1976 has conducted research in all areas of dentistry.