Why do dentists use a blue light?

kids fillings

Have you ever had a cavity? Maybe you’ve seen a strange-looking instrument emitting a blue light while you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair.

How it works:

The blue light we often see our dentists use is called a dental curing light. The majority of dentists today use LED curing lights to set fillings and sealants. When you have a cavity, your dentist removes the tooth decay with a drill and prepares the tooth for a dental filling.  The filling material, resin, is generally soft and can be molded by biting down or by manipulating it with instruments. When the resin is exposed to this light, the material hardens and makes it strong enough for normal chewing. Resin can take anywhere from 20-60 seconds to harden using the dental curing light.

Is it safe?

Since it is not a laser, the dental curing light is not dangerous to the teeth and gums. Since it is very bright, it can put a strain on your eyes if you look at it too long. This is similar to the way your eyes strain if you look at the sun for too long. Dentists and assistants know not to look at the light for long periods of time. The use of appropriate eye protection or a shield when operating a dental curing light is essential.

The dental curing light is a quick and easy way to help set your fillings so they stay secured in the tooth cavity. Learn more about fillings here!

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