Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Looking to Improve Your Composite Outcomes? Take a Good Look at PinkWave™


I've spent many years in dentistry.  The thing I like the most about that, is that it gives me a really unique perspective on where we are because I know firsthand where we've come from and how far we've progressed.

When I was being trained, adhesive dentistry was in its infancy.  True story: when I was in school we had to get every step inspected and checked off.  We had to have someone check our etching for bonded composites, and if there was ONE speck of the etchant on dentin, you were in big trouble.  Prevailing theories at the time said that etching dentin would kill the pulp.  Of course, then along came my friend Dr. John Kanca and the world changed.  Suddenly total etch and wet bonding exploded across the profession.  Dr. Kanca took a lot of flack for his initial position on the subject, but he's a really smart guy and he was proven to be correct in a relatively short time.

When I started in the profession, composites were rare things.  I placed predominantly amalgam restorations for the first part of my career.

Jumping forward to today, things have changed radically from the old days.  At this point in my career, it's been about 2 decades since I placed an amalgam.  And over the years of progress, I've spent a lot of time studying and learning about adhesive dentistry.

The one thing I like to say is that curing is the 'step child' of adhesive dentistry.  By that I mean, that everyone knows about it, but it doesn't get the attention attention it deserves.  Most of us tend to think that we put the light on the material, wait a few seconds, and then go on to the next step.

However, I can tell you absolutely, that curing is one of the most important aspects of bonding.  If your light isn't strong enough or if you fail to cure for the proper time, all kinds of problems can result.  So, we need to pay attention to curing and better understand the physics and chemistry involved in it.

Today's post is about the PinkWave™ curing light from Vista-Apex and I'm going to spend the rest of the post explaining why I love the science behind it.

In the simplest terms, the light needs to reach every aspect of the material to achieve proper photo-polymerization.  That's one of the reasons (but not the only one) why for many materials, we place them in 2-3mm increments.  At that size, the increment is small enough for the light to penetrate all the way through it.  Some materials today are bulk cure or "large increment cure" with manufacturers creating composites that are a bit more translucent to help the photons reach deep into the restoration.  The deeper the light penetrates, the better the cure.

PinkWave™ handles this depth of cure situation with a unique solution.  The light uses FOUR different LED wavelengths (QuadWave™) to provide increased polymerization and the resultant depth of cure those wavelengths provide.

For the science minded readers, like me, those 4 LEDs provide standard blue, red, NIR (near infrared), and UV to penetrate the beam deep into the restoration.  This combination of light gives PinkWave™ a stated depth of cure up to 8.5mm... which is incredible.

The extra wavelengths have the physics necessary to enhance the cure and the resulting depth of cure, which is SO important for restoration longevity.  And that goes for even the incredibly high mw/cm2 output.  Light intensity doesn't always translate to depth of penetration. which is something that isn't always well understood.  That, in my opinion, is the genius behind PinkWave™.  

The blue LEDs are what activate the photo-initiator (CPQ) which is what most composites use.  However, *some* composites use a different photo-intiator that doesn't use blue to cure.  For those composites, that's where the UV LEDs come into play.  That makes PinkWave™ a truly "broadband" light that will effectively cure any restorative material.

The purpose of the red and NIR (near infrared) LEDs is to gently warm the material.  The wavelength of these LEDs allows them to  penetrate deeply into the material and warm it.  This increases the amount of polymerization that occurs.  Of course heating the material probably triggers concerns in your mind.  Some of you are probably thinking, "what does that do to the pulp?"  Let me put those fears to rest.  The team at Vista-Apex did *extensive* testing in that area and I can tell you with certainty that while it warms the material, it has no effect on the pulp or the tooth.

I always place warm composite.  I have for years.  Multiple studies have shown that warm composite cures more completely.  Warming the material 'energizes' the composite monomers so that the material cures much more completely.

Another great feature of PinkWave™ is in the optics.  Most curing lights work best right at the tip as the photons exit the device.  However, Vista-Apex uses a lens to focus the energy, not at the tip, but at a point 5mm away from the lens.  That puts the energy into the composite where it belongs.

Basically, the device warms the composite AND puts the beam right where it needs to be which results in a deeper, more complete, and better cure. 

If you've been looking for a way to get better clinical outcomes, follow this link and checkout PinkWave™.  I think you'll be impressed.  Curing lights are not all created equal and I feel PinkWave™ is created to perform better.


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