Light curing procedures–Performance, knowledge level and safety awareness among dentists
This study aimed to investigate dentists’ exposure to curing light and to obtain information about the dentists’ knowledge on practical use and technical features of their curing lights as well as their safety awareness.
A pre-coded questionnaire was sent electronically to all dentists (n = 1313) in the Public Dental Service (PDS) in Norway in 2015.
The Response rate was 55.8%. The dentists spent on average 57.5% of their working days placing restorations, ranging from 1 to 30 (mean 7.7, SD 3.6) restorations per day. The average length of light curing one normal layer of composite was 27 s. The longest individual mean curing time per day was about 100 times higher than that of the lowest. The mean curing time for lamps of the lower reported irradiances was similar to the time representing exceedance of international guidelines for limit values for blue light to the eyes. Almost one-third of the dentists used inadequate eye protection against blue light. The odds of using adequate eye protection were significantly higher among young dentists (p < 0.01). The majority of the respondents (78.3%) were unaware of the irradiance value of their curing lights, thus rendering the curing time uncertain. More dentists in this group did not perform regular maintenance of their curing lights compared with all respondents (17.1% vs. 3.3%, p < 0.01).
This study revealed considerable variations among Norwegian dentists in the Public Dental Service with respect to performance of light curing of restorations, safety awareness and technical knowledge of the curing light.
Clinical significance (max. 50 words)
The questionnaire study identifies specific knowledge gaps among Norwegian dentists with regard to curing lights and use of personal protection. Today’s dependence on technology in dentistry necessitates that the operator possesses knowledge of essential technical specifications and safe use of devices and instruments routinely used in dental treatment.