Objective: To inform operators and suppliers of curing/bleaching lamps, lasers and other optical instruments intended for oral applications about safe use. Further, to give references to relevant international guidelines and standards.

Methods: Laboratory measurements of lamps and eye protective filters, literature review and radiation risk assessment according to recommended limit values.

Results: Limit values for exposure to eyes from curing lamp emission were reached within minutes and seconds for blue light and ultraviolet radiation, respectively. Emission from bleaching lamps exceeded limit values for eyes and skin before 10% of the treatment duration had elapsed. About 50% of selected non-laser eye protection filters were of inferior quality. A short description of the following safety related standards and guidelines will be given:

  • Limit values and guidelines from International Commission on Non -Ionizing Radiation Protection: http://www.icnirp.de/PubOptical.htm
  • Standards for laser eye protection: EN 207 and EN 208; non-coherent lamps eye protection: EN 166.
  • Standards for light sources: Safety of laser products EN 60825; Safety of lamps and lamp systems EN 62471; Standards for medical electric equipment IEC 60601, part 2-22 for lasers and part 2-57 for non-laser light sources.
  • Documents related to occupational exposure: EU directive for the workplace 2006/25/EC. For guidelines, see: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=en&pubId=5926&furtherPubs=yes
  • Standard on measurement and risk assessment, EN 14255-2.

Conclusion: Curing/bleaching lamps and lasers used for oral applications can pose risks to patients and health personnel. Risks can be reduced, e.g. by application of internationally developed standards/guidelines. Correct use of relevant guidelines requires knowledge of the properties of the light source and its applications.

Safety of optical light sources in the dental clinic
Christensen T, Johnsen B, Bruzell E.
22nd European Dental Materials Conference, Birmingham, England, 29-30 Aug, 2013 (A)