An evaluation of the efficacy of LED light curing units in primary and secondary dental settings in the UK

Asmaa Altaie, Mohammed Hadis, Victoria Wilson, Matthew German, Brian Nattress, David Wood, William Palin

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Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the irradiance and the quality of LED light curing units (LCUs) in primary and secondary clinics in the UK and to assess the effect of damage, contamination, use of protective sleeves, and distance of light tips to target on the irradiance and performance of LCUs.

Methods: The irradiance levels (mW/cm2) of 26 LED LCUs from general dental practices and 207 LED LCUs from two dental hospitals were measured using a digital radiometer (Blue Phase II, Ivoclar, Vivadent, Amherst, NY). Ten LED light guide tips (Satelec Mini, Acteon, Merignac, France) were selected to evaluate the effect of chipping, contamination (tip debris), and use of protective sleeves and tips to sensor distance on irradiance (mW/cm2) using a MARC Resin Calibrator (Blue Light Analytics, Halifax, Canada). Homogeneity of the light output was evaluated using a laser beam profiler (SP620; Ophir-Spiricon, North Longan, UT, USA). Statistical analysis was conducted using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc Tukey test (α=0.05) and linear regression with stepwise correlation tests.

Results: Thirty-three percent of the LCUs delivered irradiance output less than 500 mW/cm2. The condition of the light curing tips was poor, with 16% contaminated with resin debris, 26% damaged, and 10% both contaminated and damaged. The irradiance output was significantly reduced in contaminated (62%) and chipped (50%) light curing tips and when using protective sleeves (24%) (p<0.05). Irradiance was also reduced when increasing the distance with 25% and 34% reduction at 7 mm and 10 mm, respectively (p<0.05).

Conclusion: There remains a lack of awareness of the need for regular monitoring and maintenance of dental LCUs. Damaged and contaminated light curing tips, use of protective sleeves, and increasing the distance from the restoration significantly reduced the irradiance output and the performance of the LCUs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOperative Dentistry
Early online date9 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2021


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