Quintessence Int 29 (1998), No. 8 (01.08.1998)
The effect of autoclaving and polishing techniques on energy transmission of light-curing tips
Kofford / Wakefield / Nunn
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate if autoclaving light-curing tips in sterilization packages using a properly maintained autclave filled with distilled water reduced the buildup of boiler scal and allowed the tips eto maintain their ability to transmit energy. Method and Materials: Thirty light-curing tips were divided into groups: control, never autclaved; group 1, no light-curing tip treatment, autclaved only; group 2, autclaved and treated with the Demetron/Kerr Optics Maintenance Kit; group 3, autoclaved and treated with the EFOS Fiberoptic Cleaning Kit; group 4, autoclaved and trated with Shofu Brownie and Greenie polishing points; and group 5, autoclaved and treated with a standard rubber prophylaxis cup. The curing tips were packaged and subjected to 30 autclave cycles in a clinical autoclave with standard loads of clinical instruments. The light transmission was measured with a curing radiometer. Results: Results whoed a 7% decrease in energy transmission for the untreated tips compared to the control. Both polishing system gruops demonstrated a 4% decrease. There was no significant difference between the cont rol and the first three groups. The polishing point and prophylaxis cup groups shoed significantly decreased energy transmission (decreases of 11% and 25%, respectively) Conclusion: Light-curing tips can be autoclaved with routine packaged loads of clinical instruments and retain their ability to transmit light energy, provided that the tips are packaged and the autoclave is properly maintained and filled with distilled water. Commercially available optics maintenance kits are effective in removing deposits and restoring light energy transmission.