Sometimes it feels as if it is hard to stay ahead of the curve with updated technology and equipment. While many of our equipment purchases are discretionary, others are vital and this would include our curing lights. The majority of curing lights in use today are LED, with a smaller number of halogen and plasma arc units being used. In the world of LED the newcomer when looking at lights is called a poly wave LED. If your current LED light is working you may be wondering why you would upgrade to this newer technology.
In addition to potentially upgrading to a sleeker and lighter unit, that has a superior charging technology there have been key improvements between LED and poly wave LED. One of the important factors driving this change has been the expansion of photo-initiators in our common resin based materials. Each photo-initiator has a specific band of light that optimizes it’s polymerization. The original LED lights were designed to target the curing spectrum of camphorquinone (CoQ). Today we may need to cure materials that use a photo-initiator chemistry based on TPO (Trimethylbenzoyl-diphenyl-phosphine oxide), PPD (Phenyl-propanedione) or other manufacturer patented chemistry. Each of these chemicals requires a slightly different light spectrum to optimize polymerization. Poly wave LED has been designed to have two peaks of light emission and capture the polymerization initiation of all of the common chemistries so that we can feel confident about our ability to cure.
Answering the question of whether you should upgrade to a poly wave LED curing light will depend on answering the question do you have a light that can optimize the polymerization of the current materials you use. Under-cured composites poses many clinical challenges that include sensitivity and premature restorative failure.