Curing lights for orthodontic bonding: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Light cure of resin-based adhesives is the mainstay of orthodontic bonding. In recent years, alternatives to conventional halogen lights offering reduced curing time and the potential for lower attachment failure rates have emerged. The relative merits of curing lights in current use, including halogen-based lamps, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and plasma arc lights, have not been analyzed systematically. In this study, we reviewed randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials to assess the risks of attachment failure and bonding time in orthodontic patients in whom brackets were cured with halogen lights, LEDs, or plasma arc systems.


Multiple electronic database searches were undertaken, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, CENTRAL. Language restrictions were not applied. Unpublished literature was searched on, the National Research Register, Pro-Quest Dissertation Abstracts, and Thesis database. Search terms included randomized controlled trial, controlled clinical trial, random allocation, double blind method, single blind method, orthodontics, LED, halogen, bond, and bracket. Authors of primary studies were contacted as required, and reference lists of the included studies were screened.


Randomized controlled trials and clinical controlled trials directly comparing conventional halogen lights, LEDs, or plasma arc systems involving patients with full arch, fixed, or bonded orthodontic appliances (not banded) with follow-up periods of a minimum of 6 months were included. Using predefined forms, 2 authors undertook independent extraction of articles; disagreements were resolved by discussion. The assessment of the risk of bias of the randomized controlled trials was based on the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria; 2 were excluded because of high risk of bias. In the comparison of bond failure risk with halogen lights and plasma arc lights, 1851 brackets were included in both groups. Little statistical heterogeneity was observed in this analysis (I2 = 4.8%; P = 0.379). There was no statistical difference in bond failure risk between the groups (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.68-1.23; prediction intervals, 0.54, 1.56). Similarly, no statistical difference in bond failure risk was observed in the meta-analysis comparing halogen lights and LEDs (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.64-1.44; prediction intervals, 0.07, 13.32). The pooled estimates from both comparisons were OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.74-1.17; and prediction intervals, 0.69, 1.17.


There is no evidence to support the use of 1 light cure type over another based on risk of attachment failure.

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