Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Clinical Evaluation of Apex Dental Materials PinkWave Curing Light is Beginning




As regular readers know, I spend a fair amount of my time working with different products that are new to the market.  Sometimes they are prototypes that are in the early design stages, sometimes they are devices that are close to heading to the market, and finally some are boxed up and ready to go.  Doing clinical evaluations is one of the things I love most about my job as “Technology Evangelist”.


Recently I received a product to evaluate that is from Apex Dental Materials.  The company has been around since 1998 is heavily involved with the work of Dr. John Kanca.  They manufacture and sell a variety of dental products that fall into the category of “bonded materials.  However, the product I received to evaluate is not a material, it’s a curing light designed to set those bonded materials.  (Disclaimer, I happen to be friends with Dr. Kanca, but I will not let that friendship impact this evaluation).


The device is called PinkWave and it comes at the idea of light curing dental materials, from a little bit different angle.


For several years, dentistry relied on a photoinitiator called camphorquinone in our composites.  It’s a material that worked so well, that it is still used in almost every light cured material on the market.  When exposed to a certain color (or wavelength) of light, the chemical causes a photo polymerization reaction that causes the composite to harden.  Basically a composite with camphorquinone (abbreviated CPQ in the literature) is set with an LED array that creates light at a wavelength of 450 nanometers.  CPQ reacts at 450 nm +/- 30 nm.  That is why, in the early 2000s, when the blue LED was created, curing lights suddenly went from large devices with expensive and short lifespan halogen bulbs, to compact LED devices.


The only drawback with CPQ is that it tends to have a slightly yellowish color which can potentially affect the shade of the restorative material.  Due to that fact, some companies have created proprietary photoinitiators that don’t exhibit this.  These proprietary photoinitiators require a different wavelength of light to set them.  This is why many lights now come with LEDs of varying wavelengths that are referred to as “broadband curing lights”.  


Now we are seeing a new development in the realm of curing lights with the PinkWave.  This device not only provides the “broadband curing” aspect but also has TWO other wavelengths as well.  The extra 2 are a red and a near infrared that is invisible to the human eye.


I’m excited to see what the PinkWave can do.  I’m going to be performing some bench tests as well as some clinical applications.  I’ll report back on what I discovered when I’m done.

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