Dental Light

This is one area where the trend is changing away from chair-mounted dental lights since many doctors wear headlights. Sometimes ceiling-mounted lights are used when doctors are using magnification. The doctor uses the light from the microscope or from headlamps. When these lights are worn the dentist can direct the light directly onto the site where they are working. The assistant is able to see the area since the light is directly onto the operative site. The microscope has its own light source and the microscope positions over the oral cavity like a dental light. However, the criteria below is suggested when the doctor purchases a traditional dental light for the treatment room.

The traditional dental light (Figure 7) should:

  1. Ideally be affixed to the chair to minimize the number of adjustments needed when the chair is moved. If microscopes are used the dental light may be affixed to the ceiling or wall to avoid conflict.
  2. Provide a hands free on/off sensor switch.
  3. Provide a motion detector with distance adjustment for close up use. This will avoid having the light change when there is motion within the room at various distance ranges.
  4. Have an intensity switch for high and low beam.
  5. Be designed with a moveable light post versus a fixed light post.
  6. Have a dental light arm that is designed in various lengths.
  7. Use an LED system when available.
  8. Provide shadow free illumination area that lights the oral cavity.
  9. Include ergonomically designed handles for ease of movement.
Figure 7a.
Light attached to chair to ensure movement of light as chair raises and lowers.
Light attached to chair to ensure movement of light as chair raises and lowers.
Figure 7b.
LED light with criteria for an ergonomically acceptable light.
LED light with criteria for an ergonomically acceptable light.

The other consideration in lighting the treatment room is the type of attachments; ceiling or affixed the unit to the chair. Use halogen or LED type lamps that are positioned for the best light pattern, that light the room so that few shadows and clean light is maintained. These lamps provide much cleaner, brighter illumination and with the proper placement of the fixture, use fewer bulbs, create less heat, use less power and last much longer.