Dental Lamps

Everything There Is to Know About Dental Lamps

Dental lamps are special tools, mostly used for lighting patients' oral cavities while performing various diagnostic and treatment procedures. However, different mechanisms of those kinds for treatment purposes exist, and they are also called dental lamps but usually emit a different frequency of beams, ultraviolet, or ultra-red. In some cases, they also may include other visible light specters.

Dental lamps are usually placed over the patient's head, attached to a dentist's head, or guided by his hands into the oral cavity of the patient—the last method of attachment and conducting function with instruments for performing various treatment procedures. Nowadays, you can find lots of numerous models, types, and manufacturers of these tools on the market.

A Little bit of history about dental lamps

The first known dental lights for the lightning of the patient's oral cavity began to appear since the invention of the early modern dental chairs, which have special fastenings for those tools. Production of the first armchairs of such construction started in 1958 and was invented by Dr. John Naughton, who modified the fully wooden chair by Dr. James Beall.

Speaking about dental lamps for curing different pathologies, they firstly appeared in the early 1960s. The most important in today's dentistry light-curing resin composites and dental lamps showed up only in 1969. There were also a few attempts to use a curing light in treating different inflammatory pathologies like stomatitis and gingivitis. Unfortunately, those methods do not find significant support among dentists in the USA.

Indications to Use Dental Lamps

The first indication to use that type of apparatus is straightforward: it is a general check-up or any treatment procedure that includes the penetration of any instruments or hands of the medical practitioners into the oral cavity of a patient. It is especially essential in those cases of obstructed view angle for various reasons, e. g., excessive dimming or inaccessibility of the problem area.

There are various types of those tools used for curing and treatment processes. Many of them connect with different kinds of polymers and composite materials that solidify after a few minutes of various types of light exposure. Distribute the materials on top of the tooth surface's defects, then shape like parts of the tooth. The light emission causes the composites to solidify and perform the function of the tooth's removed parts.

Another significant and prospective role of the dental lamps, which are not very popular nowadays among the USA dentists, is a treatment of different inflammatory processes of the oral cavity. For example, it is a well-known fact that a lack of vitamin D may result in various oral health disorders. So, by simple short-term irradiation of affected areas of the mucosa with ultraviolet beams, doctors can cure those processes very well. Among other pathological processes treated with lights are:

  • Stomatitis
  • Gingivitis
  • Candidiasis of the oral cavity
  • Cheilitis
  • Glossitis

In addition to that, there are many different dental lamps used in diagnostic processes as parts of intraoral cameras and scanners. Recent researchesrecommend using a smooth light for those procedures. It helps to keep the temperature inside the mouth low and reduce the overall time of the diagnostic process. They provide a light necessary for observing the hardest to reach parts of the oral cavity and allows the doctor to set up the right diagnosis and prescribe the best possible treatment for the patient.

Complications of Using Those Tools

The leading group of complications connected with using dental lamps is related to the misuse of the curing lights. For example, when a doctor mis-points the ultraviolet beams, and the healthy mucous membrane tissues begin to irradiate, it may lead to their burning. It is also possible that the misuse of those tools for various composite materials may lead to a lower active lifetime of the tooth filling.

The second big group of complications is with various malfunctions of those apparatuses themselves. Those types of complications can be mostly called environmental related. For example, if the tool's binding to the dentist's chair or head is not strong enough, a possible situation can occur where it falls and traumatizes the patient or the doctor. That is the main reason it is essential to check up all instruments' technical and mechanical states before the beginning of the examination of every patient. 

The third big group of different complications is with various bacterial invasions that potentially can occur in the patient's oral cavity if no proper disinfection of the dentist's working area before the next patient check-up. Different antibiotics widely used to prevent the development of those groups of complications.

General Specification of Dental Lamps

As there are many different models and types of those tools available nowadays in the modern markets, it's not easy to determine the most significant specifications for them. But, after completing the in-depth and attentive research, we learned the most general of them. They appeared to be:

  • The lower possible class - I type B
  • Accordance - 93/42 EEC Directive
  • The dimension of the light beam - 180 x 80 mm
  • 70 cm light intensity - from 3 000 to 40 000 lux
  • Power - 12 W Max
  • LED - 6 x 1 W
  • CRI - 80
  • Ultraviolet radiation - no
  • Color temperature - 5 400 K Max
  • Fan - no
  • Infrared radiation - no 
  • Life cycle - approx. 50 000 hours
  • Standard - UNI EN ISO 9680

Those specifications generally match the most often used type of dental lamps, which usually function for simple lighting of the oral cavity. Understandably, if you are interested, for example, in different kinds of curing lights, they have to include such parameters as, e. g., infrared and ultraviolet radiation.

Market Leaders

There are lots of manufacturers of those tools existing nowadays. There are lots of them that supply those apparatuses as parts for their armchairs. But, as we are interested in the lamps itself, but not parts of other supplies, we try to determine those fabricators mostly oriented in single tools manufacturing. They appeared to be:

  • A-DEC
  • Venus Plus
  • Sun Led Labo
  • Denta - Led
  • Solaris
  • Ultra Dent
  • Dr. Mach
  • Navadha
  • Glory
  • Beyes

Various types of different tools, pointed by the dentist's hands, are also available nowadays on the market. But, as most dentists should use both hands while performing diagnostic and treatment procedures, it will be preferred to buy a variant that is attached to the doctor's head or a part of a chair. Also, there are many low-price Chinese and Indian products available, but we can't recommend buying them unless they are not disposable.


Those tools showed themselves as very good and extremely useful in numerous diagnostic and treatment procedures in dentistry. Unfortunately, there are still lots of complications connected with using these tools. Due to the hard work of commissions of patient quality services and scientists, the overall number and possibility of occurrence of those compliances have dramatically decreased during the past decades.

There are many possibilities for these tools in surgery, gynecology, obstetrics, and many other fields of practical medicine. It is genuinely possible that after a few improvements of those instruments, they can replace the whole lighting complexes of operating rooms or delivery rooms. We can never know what our future will grant to us, but the future of those tools will be bright without any doubts.