Using a patient simulator, dental professionals were tested to determine their ability to light-polymerize simulated restorations in their dental practice. After receiving specific instructions and training using the simulator, their ability to deliver sufficient light to polymerize restorations was significantly and substantially improved.
Objectives: To determine the ability of dental professionals to deliver a radiant exposure of at least six J/cm2 in 10 seconds to simulated restorations.
Methods and Materials: The study initially examined 113 light-emitting-diode (LED) light polymerization units (LPUs) used in dental offices to determine if they could deliver at least 6 J/cm2 radiant exposure (RE) in 10s. This assessment was completed by using a laboratory-grade light measuring device (checkMARC, BlueLight Analytics, Halifax, NS, Canada). The participating dental professionals whose LPUs could deliver 6 J/cm2 then used their own LPU to light-cure simulated anterior and posterior restorations in the MARC Patient Simulator (BlueLight Analytics). They then received specific instructions and were retested using the same LPUs. Data were statistically analyzed with a series of one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), two-way ANOVA, paired-samples t-tests, Fisher post hoc multiple comparison tests, and McNemar tests with a preset alpha of 0.05 (SPSS Inc).
Results: Ten (8.8%) LPUs could not deliver the required RE to the checkMARC in 10s and were eliminated from the study. For the anterior restoration, most dental practitioners (87.3%) could deliver at least 6 J/cm2 before instructions. After receiving additional light-curing instructions, only two (1.9%) participants were unable to deliver 6 J/cm2 to the anterior location. At the posterior location, only 55.3% (57) participants could deliver at least 6 J/cm2 before the instructions. After receiving these instructions, an additional 32 participants delivered at least 6 J/cm2. Overall, after receiving instructions on how to use the LPU correctly, the participants improved the amount of RE they delivered to anterior and posterior restorations by 22.5% and 30%, respectively.
Conclusion: This study revealed that at the baseline, 44.7% of participating dental professionals failed to deliver 6 J/cm2 in 10s to the posterior simulated restoration when using their own LPU.