When I evaluate and make the decision to either purchase a new dental curing light, there are many things that I take in to account. First and foremost is the reputation of the manufacturer. These lights are not cheap and I want to make sure I have support for that light and that also the manufacturer has done their due diligence with ensuring that it does actually perform up to their claims. Many cheap curing lights that are even available on eBay concern me and whether they truly put out the amount of light necessary to polymerize our resins and resin cements, but also is it even the correct wavelength necessary for the photo initiators we use.
Second is the ergonomics. I want a curing light that is light, comfortable in my hands and also that access to the off-on button is convenient if I am holding it or if my dental assistant is using it. The other thing I look at it is if it allows me accessibility to all area of the mouth. Often times, I am placing bonded restorations on second molars and access to these teeth is mandatory. Curing tip sizes available for the light also comes under this category. It is mandatory in my practice to have a 2.0 mm tacking tip as well as a broad 8.0-10.0 mm tip to cure larger surfaces areas. The Bluephase Style is one of the lightest curing lights on the market and LED eliminates the need for a noisy fan to cool the bulb that we have traditionally seen in curing lights of the past.
Third is the actual wavelength of the light that is emitted from the curing tip. Since manufacturers utilize different photo initiators in our current array of resin cements and restorative resins, we must have a curing light that emits light to polymerize all the materials we use. The halogen lights always had the upper hand over the LED lights because they emitted the correct light to meet all our needs. Unfortunately, the halogen lights were bulky, heavy, noisy, and needed to be plugged in. For the past 10 years, I used two different lights in my office: the bulky halogen to be my “cure all” workhorse, and then an LED as a convenient portable light that I could use when I knew what photo initiator was used in the material I was placing. The Bluephase Style, unlike many other LED lights on the market actually uses a multi-diode format where it has one of the broadest output ranges on the market of any curing light, Halogen or LED, and thus truly can be a “do all” curing light that I can use with all my restorative dentistry. The big, bulky, noisy halogens that were once plugged into the counter of all my operatories are now gone and in their place in the sleek, light LED.
Lastly, I want durability. It doesn’t benefit me to have a fancy new light, if it won’t hold up to daily clinical use. One of the major drawbacks of LED light technology was the need for a battery that had external conductors that allowed for the transfer of the re-charge form the base charger. This may work great for cameras and cell phones, but with the harsh environment in clinical dentistry where we are using chemical disinfectants and work in a moist environment, these types of batteries and chargers are just not effective. Every LED user will tell you that they have had battery problems because of corrosion of the connectors between the battery and charger. With the Bluephase, Ivoclar incorporated inductive charging, similar to what we have seen in electric toothbrushes in the past. This eliminates the metal, corrodible connections and also creates a very smooth and sleek contour that is easily wiped down and cleaned after patient use.
Overall, this is a great light and one that I am very impressed with of all the dental curing lights I’ve reviewed and used. Many of the LED lights available the last few years have had their pitfalls and problems. With the Bluephase Style, I just haven’t found any yet- Dr. David Hornbrook