In year 2000 mainstream LED curing lights such as Dental Systems-CoolBlu were introduced to the dental market.
After numerous evaluations by leading research organizations, universities, and customers worldwide, LED curing lights have gained footholds as the future of dental curing lights.
Major dental suppliers such as 3M and Dentsply followed our lead by introducing their own LED based curing lights which legitimized the future of blue LEDs for the use in curing lights.
So whats so hot about the technology ?
There are many reasons to go LED, there even more reason to go CoolBlu.
Even though there have been attempts to make cordless halogen curing lamps, they were heavy, noisy, and the battery wore out very quickly because halogen bulbs are very inefficient.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are very efficient in producing light, thus the same amount of blue light can be produced with much less electricity, so the rechargeable battery can be much smaller, and one charge will be enough to last several days worth of patients.
Again, because LEDs are so efficient at producing blue light, there is no need for a cooling fan in the hand piece. Dentists complain most about the electrical cord, but the noisy fan is the close second complaints. As halogen lamps produce light, it also produces a lot of heat as by product, and it is also made worse by the blue filter that cuts out all other colors of light, producing even more heat. This heat is removed by passing fast moving air from the fan. Because the fans in halogen lamps suck air from the patients mouth and spreads it all over the clinic, it was found that the circulation of air distributed diseases such as cold virus.
No need for filter or bulb replacement:
The bulbs in Halogen and arc (Pac) lamps can blow out at any time. Many dentists have experienced bulb blow out in the middle of working on a patient. They either have to wait for the curing lamp to cool until they can replace the bulb, or lug along another curing lamp from another operatory, the cords and all.
The blue filters in halogen lamps deteriorate in time also, so it is often recommended that the blue filter be changed every 6 months to maintain the curing performance.
LEDs are made with semiconductors, similar to those used in computer and electronic microchips. The lifetimes of LEDs are measured in tens of thousands of hours, so you will not have to replace the bulb anymore. There is no blue filter because blue LEDs only produce blue light from the start ( halogen lamps produce white light).
Constant Light Output:
High performance LED curing lamps such as CoolBlu contain power regulators that constantly monitor the light output, and keep it constant through the curing time.
The same cannot be said about halogen or arc lamps.
High performance LED curing lamps such as CoolBlu can cure most light activated composites(with camphor quinone initiator) as quickly as a high-speed halogen lamps, and the hardness of the resin matching or exceeding that of halogen or arc lamps.
This has been proven by numerous research institutes and universities.
No heat generation in the tooth:
The un-usable light spectrum generated by Arc lamps as well as high speed halogen lamps end up as heat on the tooth. Not only is it very uncomfortable for the patient, but temperature rises as small as 5C can seriously damage the pulp.
Also, the sudden heating of the tooth is also blamed for microfractures at the tooth-resin interface. LED curing lights such as CoolBlu and CoolBlu2 generate minimal, almost undetectable warmth on the tooth, so no discomfort, no pulp damage. It's better all around.
Safer to the Eyes:
Even with a good new blue filter, a halogen lamp still irradiates some UV(ultra violet) light and IR (infra red) light which is harmful to the operators eyes.
With LEDs, there is no color other than blue that very closely matches the sensitivity of camphor quinone initiator ( the stuff that makes light curing fast).
We still recommend that the operator wear protective glasses against the blue light, however, it is nice to know that none of the harmful light is irradiated.
There are 2 basic types of grips available for curing lamps; gun-type and wand-type.
CoolBlu has a gun-type grip, and dentists truly appreciate that.
Our first concept prototype was in fact a wand-type, a modified electric toothbrush with a few LEDs on the head.
The gun-type grip gives the operator much more control, and because CoolBlu has the rechargeable battery in the grip part, the weight is very well balanced compared to the wand type. When the operator uses a wand type curing light, he soon recognizes the inbalance towards the back because of the weight of the battery is at the back.
With just the right weight (not too light, not too heavy), the operator can aim the blue light right on the spot and keep it steady..
There are dentists who use the side of the lightguide to move the cheek out of the way of his sight as he cures a molar. Again, the tick gun-type grip gives him all the control and he is able to exert the additional force without tiring his wrist.
Simple & Effective Operation:
Like any devices, when you want the curing light to do its job, you want it to do it right, and without all the clutter and tiny buttons to prepare it. When you press the exposure button, you want it to expose. On the other hand, you want your curing light to be fully programmable so when you cure, your light cures to your exact specifications.
CoolBlu has only 1 button, to expose. CoolBlu2 has 2 buttons, one for exposure, and one for convenient quick mode change. Yet, once you put either of the CoolBlus on the base, it becomes fully programmable.
All the important displays and buttons are large, and located where they are most convenient.
Some of our competitors have gone completely computer-happy and put 5~6 tiny buttons and complicated displays just to look expensive, yet others went the other way and the operator had to press a tiny button for every 10 seconds of curing. Some of them went out of business because the device was either to complicated or too restrictive.
CoolBlu and CoolBlu2 are made out of ABS (almost unbreakable) plastic. May be you have seen us purposely drop our CoolBlu on a hard surface in a dental show, and the device kept on ticking.
We have selected the most rugged components throughout so that an accident at the clinic will not disable the device, or worse, to make you spend hundreds of dollars for replacement.
May be some of you or your assistant had the misfortune of dropping a halogen or arc lamp. Most likely, you would have had to replace the whole unit because of broken glass and cracked cases.
You imagine most dental equipment, and you think either cold surgical steal or dull ivory color plastic. You imagine cold and unfriendly machines. The patients imagine the painful treatments that they are about to go through.
CoolBlu is soft translucent. CoolBlu2 is off-white. The charging base is a mix of soft translucent and off-white ( blue on the original CoolBlu base).
There are very few straight lines, but curves everywhere. Some major research organizations noted the innovative design.
You say, did I read it right?
Yes, over 3 or longer years of ownership, you will see the saving.
Changing the halogen light bulb and the filter every 3~6 months at a cost of say, $50 at a time can mount up to as much as $1200! Thats not counting the 20~30 minutes it takes for the lamp to cool and for you to open up the case and replace the parts, during which time your patient is sitting with his mouth open, watching you turn into an electrician.
We dont even have to talk about the ownership cost of an arc lamp.
CoolBlu and other leading LED curing lamps have come down in cost to very affordable levels. It is now less expensive to own a CoolBlu than a top end high-speed halogen lamp such as Optilux501.
Now with the introduction of CoolBlu2, at similar pricing, and better performance than Optilux501, there is no excuse anymore.
We have already talked about the importance of simple yet user friendly operation. Inside CoolBlu and CoolBlu2, we have incorporated the same computer chip as those used to manage todays most advanced automobiles. At the back, where the operator is not aware, the computer is constantly monitoring the exposure as well as user interaction with the devices.
Because of such sophistication, CoolBlu / CoolBlu2 even goes to sleep and conserves the battery charge after 30 seconds of non-use. If close to fully charged, there is enough charge left to see several patients even after 3~4 weeks. The operator never needs to switch the hand piece off (there is no such power switch on the hand piece). All you need to wake up the device is to click on the exposure button once. Its ready to go again.
We have already said a few words about moving all the custom programming features on to the charging base to remove the clutter from the hand piece. What we have not told you is that the charging base is intelligent too. Not only it communicates with the hand piece when the operator is programming or selecting one of the 6 pre-programmed modes, the base continuously checks the status of the hand piece, so if you happen to own more than one hand piece, it knows exactly which hand piece is on the base, so you will not lose the settings. As we introduce other products, the charging base will become even more useful.
Super-High-Mode (CoolBlu2 only):
CoolBlu2 has, what we call Super-High-Mode. For the first 20 seconds of full exposure, the intensity of the blue light is typically 40~60% higher than the intensity of CoolBlu High-Mode. In step curing mode, the exposure intensity starts out at approximately 37% of High-Mode until the "low" time passes, then for the next 20 seconds, the output of the curing lamp goes Super-High. If there is any "high" exposure time left, the output goes down to High-Mode intensity until it is complete.
Local Mode Change Button (CoolBlu2 only):
Conveniently located, yet out of the way, the Local-Mode-Change button quickly lets you change the programming mode of CoolBlu2. It works like the "Mode" button on the base, but you do not have to return the hand piece on to the base in order to chage the exposure mode. The only time you will need to retun he hand piece on the base now is to charge, and to modify custom step settings.