Q: How do the Standard Power, High Power, and Xtra Power (Plasma Emulation) modes differ? Which mode should I use?
A: As its name implies, Standard Power mode is the standard mode of operation (1000 mW/cm2). High Power mode (1400 mW/cm2) is more powerful than Standard Power mode and shortens the curing time. For example, a 10-second cure in Standard Power mode would take 4 seconds in High Power mode, saving 6 seconds. Xtra Power, or Plasma Emulation, mode is the most powerful mode (3200 mW/cm2). It offers similar intensity to plasma arc lights and is ideal for those practitioners who are interested in or currently using a plasma arc curing light. It is especially effective in situations where you need to cure as quickly as possible, such as curing a sealant on an uncooperative child.
Q: Why would I use the Xtra Power mode?
A: Xtra Power mode supports the “higher intensity/shorter exposure time” philosophy. For example, you might want to cure a sealant on an uncooperative child as quickly as possible. With the VALO curing light, you can quickly achieve a complete cure in Xtra Power mode.
Q: Why would I use the High Power mode?
A: High Power mode shortens curing time for composites and other products. The VALO curing light’s power output shortens curing time from 10 seconds in Standard Power mode to 4 seconds in High Power mode, saving 6 seconds per cure.
Q: How does Xtra Power mode compare to plasma arc lights?
A: Xtra Power mode offers similar intensity to plasma arc lights, allowing you to shorten exposure time. But the VALO curing light costs significantly less than a plasma arc light, it doesn’t take up as much room, and it doesn’t need bulb replacements.
Q: Will using Xtra Power mode cause my composite to shrink more than if I use Standard Power or High Power mode?
A: Regardless of how a composite is cured, it will shrink only the amount it was designed to by the manufacturer. The amount of stress applied will differ from Standard Power mode to higher-intensity modes, but this can be overcome with different placement methods.
Q: How can I reduce the amount of stress affected by the rate of shrinkage when using the higher-intensity modes?
A: There are a few accepted methods for reducing the stress from the composite being cured with high-intensity lights. Here are 3:
- Place a maximum thickness of 2mm increments. This will eliminate as much stress as possible.
- Wedge the increments to decrease the amount of tooth surfaces being cured at one time.
- Allow a second or two between cures to let the composite rest.
Q: Does the heat from a VALO curing light’s Xtra Power mode affect the tooth?
A: While the VALO curing light’s Xtra Power mode is able to produce intensity similar to a PAC light, it does not produce the same amount of heat as a PAC light. The Dental Advisor’s Biomaterials Research Center published an article that investigated concerns about heat generated with higher-intensity LED lights. In particular, a VALO light in Xtra Power mode and all other curing lights, did raise the temperature of the composite restoration. There are two sources for this rise in temperature: the energy emitted from the light and the exothermic reaction of the composite as it cures. The VALO light’s Xtra Power mode did not raise the temperature of the pulp more than 0.1 °C.5 This means that it takes the tooth from 98.6 °F to 98.78 °F. In order for the pulp to be affected it would need to raise the temperature by at least 5.5 °C.6 The blood flow of the tooth is its cooling mechanism and is one of the reasons why the pulp is minimally affected.
Q: You say the heat in Xtra Power mode does not adversely affect the tooth, but it does cause discomfort on my finger when I test it. Why?
A: You are feeling the heat on your soft tissues, which reacts differently than the tooth structure. The finger has a “red” tone to it, which absorbs the energy and causes you to feel the heat. The tooth colour does not absorb the energy and therefore does not transfer the heat to the pulp. The white nature of the tooth means that much of the light is reflected and not turned into heat. Additionally, the blood flow in the tooth immediately cools whatever heat is applied.
Q: Does heat from the VALO curing light’s higher-intensity modes affect soft tissues?
A: The VALO curing light’s instructions include a warning about placing the beam on soft tissues. The VALO light, like all other curing lights, will generate enough heat to make the patient aware of the heat on the soft tissues. If held on the soft tissues for an extended period of time, the VALO light, like all other curing lights, could cause damage to the soft tissues.
Damage is a function of two things: heat and duration without relief.
Brief exposure to higher temperatures is possible without damage. The body has cooling mechanisms such as respiration and blood flow. Live dental pulp uses blood flow as a cooling mechanism.
Some laser surgery studies have suggested that irreversible tissue damage occurs at 69 ± 6 °C, irrespective of exposure time.7
Q: What can I do to reduce exothermic heat to the tooth while using the VALO curing light’s Xtra Power mode?
A: Notable clinicians who advocate using higher-intensity lights have suggested that using a steady stream of air on the tooth while curing will counteract the heat.
Q: What cleaning agents should I use to clean the VALO curing light?
A: To clean the VALO Corded curing light, you should use isopropyl-alcohol based cleaners, ethyl alcohol-based cleaners, Lysol™ Brand III Disinfectant Spray, or another nonbleach, nonabrasive cleaner. Simply wipe the VALO curing light down; do not submerge it. Cavicide™ products may be used, but should be wrung out completely before using. Please note that Cavicide 1 cleaners can fade the colour of the VALO curing light.
Q: What is the VALO curing light’s depth of cure?
A: Depth of cure is more dependent on the type of composite being cured than the light being used. However, for maximum effectiveness, we recommend curing at 2mm increments regardless of which mode you are in.
Q: Is it possible to cure sealants in three seconds with the VALO curing light?
A: Yes, the VALO light cures UltraSeal XT™ Plus Pit and Fissure Sealant in three seconds in Xtra Power mode.
Q: Should I purchase a VALO Corded LED curing light or a VALO Cordless LED curing light?
A: Both the VALO Corded light and the VALO Cordless light offer broadband LED curing with 3 power modes and timing options. In addition, each one offers unique benefits, and the light you choose depends upon which of these features suits your needs best.
The cord on the original VALO Corded light is made with Kevlar strands for durability and ease of movement. The cord allows the wand body to remain exceptionally slim and lightweight because it does not have to house batteries. Some practitioners prefer the corded version for the convenience of having a constant power supply and because they never have to worry about recharging or replacing batteries.
The VALO Cordless light features the same award-winning curing technology as the VALO Corded light, but in a cordless, battery-operated wand body. It was designed for those practitioners who prefer the freedom that only comes with a cordless handpiece. The batteries for the VALO Cordless light were selected for their consistent power output, battery life, and battery expectancy. The batteries will last more than 1000 recharge cycles and approximately 400 cures before needing to be recharged. They are convenient to find, safe, and inexpensive, making the VALO Cordless light your best option in a battery-operated curing light.