Scientists from NIOM participated when 40 delegates from academic institutions, research institutes and industry gathered to decide guidelines on light curing to be given to dental personnel. The meeting was held at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada in the spring of 2014, and guidelines were published a few months later.
The three major themes of the readily understood guidelines are:
- The information needed to make a sound decision in selecting a light-curing unit (LCU);
- How to optimize the curing procedure;
- Safety issues for patient and lamp operator.
The information section of the guidelines advises, for example, that you should know what the light output of the LCU is and “… whether the beam has a uniform and effective output … across the light tip”.
In the section on curing optimization, the importance of monitoring and checking the light output regularly is emphasised. Furthermore, the relationship between the light output and the curing time must be taken into consideration. In addition to following the recommendations from the composite material manufacturer, attention must be paid to the distance to and the colour of the filling material. Detailed advice on the light-curing procedure is given. Finally, but not the least important, is the advice to keep the equipment in top condition, pay attention to the heat generated during curing and protect the eyes of the lamp operator from the blue light.