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J Can Dent Assoc. 2004 Feb;70(2):105-10.

Effect of disposable infection control barriers on light output from dental curing lights.

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Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.



To prevent contamination of the light guide on a dental curing light, barriers such as disposable plastic wrap or covers may be used. This study compared the effect of 3 disposable barriers on the spectral output and power density from a curing light. The hypothesis was that none of the barriers would have a significant clinical effect on the spectral output or the power density from the curing light.


Three disposable barriers were tested against a control (no barrier). The spectra and power from the curing light were measured with a spectrometer attached to an integrating sphere. The measurements were repeated on 10 separate occasions in a random sequence for each barrier.


Analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Fisher's protected least significant difference test showed that the power density was significantly less than control (by 2.4% to 6.1%) when 2 commercially available disposable barriers were used (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the power density when general-purpose plastic wrap was used (p > 0.05). The effect of each of the barriers on the power output was small and probably clinically insignificant. ANOVA comparisons of mean peak wavelength values indicated that none of the barriers produced a significant shift in the spectral output relative to the control ( p > 0.05).


Two of the 3 disposable barriers produced a significant reduction in power density from the curing light. This drop in power was small and would probably not adversely affect the curing of composite resin. None of the barriers acted as light filters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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