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J Dent Hyg. 2000 Winter;74(1):20-3.

Intensity of curing lights affected by barriers.

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University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, Dental Branch, USA.



Infection control with the use of curing lights is a problem for many oral health care offices. The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of protective barriers with curing light tips would affect the intensity of the light output of commercial light curing units as measured by a commercial radiometer.


Four different disposable barriers were tested on four light curing units to determine light intensity output (mW/cm2). Three readings of light output for each light source were obtained in each case and means and standard deviations were calculated. Means comparison was performed using analysis of variance and Tukey-Kramer intervals at the .05 significance level.


The factors of barrier (p = .001) and light curing unit (p = .0001) were significant. The interaction (p = .54) was not significant. Light intensity output decreased significantly with addition of every barrier, except for the Sani-Shield barrier with all the light units tested, and Protectop barrier with the Coltolux 4 unit. The greatest reductions occurred with the addition of the All Purpose Adhesive Covering barrier to all light units except the Dentsply (glass tip), and with the Protectop barrier to the Dentsply light unit (glass tip).


Barrier protection can be used with curing light tips only after determination that the emitted light intensity output is adequate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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