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Jul/Aug 2011
Volume 32, Issue 6

3M ESPE LED Curing Light Offers Efficiency, Power, and Convenience

As in many areas of dentistry, technology continues to be a key driver in the use of curing lights. “The trend is clearly towards light-emitting diode (LED) light technology,” says Jon Fundingsland, 3M ESPE Professional Relations Manager.

“Markets from interior lighting to the automotive industry are driving improvements in output, heat dissipation, and longevity. These LEDs will also be available to the dental market, yielding LED curing units with increased output,” Fundingsland asserts.

Compared to other types of curing lights, such as quartz tungsten halogen (QTH), plasma-arc curing (PAC), or argon laser lamps, the chief advantages of LEDs are convenience and handling, Fundingsland says. “There are very few products that do not use a photoinitiator system compatible with all LED lights. By far, the majority of light-curing products are within the range of LED output, and all 3M ESPE products for the operatory are designed with LED curing in mind."

Because both the composite and tooth absorb heat during curing, Fundingsland stresses that it is important that clinicians using high-output LED curing units follow the recommended cure times. “In other words, don’t use your old cure times with a modern light,” he advises. Additionally, he suggests testing the light output on a regular basis, because while LED output is consistent, build-up of composite or other materials on the end of the tip can reduce output.

Advances in curing lights have led to units that Fundingsland says are “faster, lighter, and smarter.” One example is 3M ESPE’s Elipar™ S10 LED Curing Light, which features a one-piece stainless-steel casing that the company says is virtually unbreakable. Because the casing has no seams or vents where liquid can seep in, internal components are protected from contaminants. Hygiene control is increased as the unit’s stainless-steel exterior enables fast and easy disinfection between patient usage and is resistant to discoloration and staining from disinfectants and dental materials.

The Elipar S10 maximizes both efficiency and convenience through its ergonomically designed V-shape, which provides a comfortable grip from virtually any angle, and its simple two-button operation that enables one cure mode for all indications. The unit features one-shot cure, with up to 50% more optical power and up to 80% more curing surface compared to other devices tested, according to 3M ESPE, and is capable of 5-second polymerization of tested composites of shades A3 and lighter. Its innovative design eliminates the use of a noisy fan to provide quiet operation, and the unit’s two light guides rotate 360° for easy alignment of light tip to restoration.

3M ESPE offers online technical and clinical information pertaining to its curing lights. Plus, to help dental professionals stay ahead of the continual changes being made in materials and techniques, the company’s Espertise™ educational programs deliver a broad range of technical insights and clinical results.

3M ESPE prides itself on being more than a provider of innovative dental products and services, says Fundingsland. The company considers itself a partner dedicated to the highest possible standards in dentistry and is driven to deliver practical, creative solutions to help dental professionals improve their care for patients worldwide. Looking ahead, Fundingsland adds, “We will certainly be focusing on providing advancements in LED technology.”

3M Center, Bldg 275-2SE-03
St. Paul, MN 55144

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