Is this Star Wars? What is that Shiny Blue Light?


Every wonder what your dentist is doing with that shiny blue light during your filling? How does that help?

Depending on the type of filling your dentist is placing, you may need to have your filling cured. What does it mean to cure a filling? 

Dental Resin Composite are filling materials that come in a soft putty form initially; this allows for the dentist to place the filling into the cavity and sculpt it into position. Once the desired position is achieved the dentist then needs to cure the filling (or set so it become soft and hard). Alternatively some filling material are self-cure and do not require a light to activate the

Skygate-Dental-Curing-Light

Skygate-Dental-Curing-Light

filling.

So how does the light cure work? Why is it Blue not red (Are Dentists Luke Skywalker Fans?)

The dental light cure is blue because it is this wavelength spectrum range which activates the dental restorative materials. The blue light with a wavelength of around 470 nanometers activates an initiator within the dental resin. Once the initiator is activated it works in combination with an accelerator to cause the dental resin to cure, or more accurately polymerize. Sometimes you will see a dentist change the over-head light from white to a yellow-orange color or if the dentist is wearing loupes and a light they may also change this to a yellow-orange color. This allows for the dentist to have more time to work with the filling material; because even over-head lights have the blue wavelength to cure dental filling materials.

Often time patients will hear the light come on and off and beep a number of times throughout the procedure. This is because the dental restorative material is generally placed in layers. This is done for a number of reasons; (1) to ensure the whole depth of the resin is cured (2) to limit shrinkage, a lot of dental resins if placed in bulk will shrink and pull away from the tooth structure limiting the quality of the filling, therefore they are often placed in increments.

If you wish for more information on fillings please do not hesitate to contact Skygate dental today on (07) 3114 1199 or 0406 579 197.