Magnification and Ergonomics

Surgical or dental loupes and telescopes are an essential tool in the kit of every medical professional especially, those dentists, surgeons, and hygienists that perform complex or detailed work. Magnification via loupes enables dentists and surgeons to enjoy an enlarged, clear, uninterrupted and detailed view of the treatment site, thereby reducing stress on the eyes.

Generally speaking, dental and surgical loupes are available in a choice of two designs, through the lens (TTL) and flip-up design. Selection of the right type of loupe largely depends on the personal preference of the clinician, as both TTL and flip-up loupes have their own sets of benefits.

When it comes to magnification, practitioners can usually choose from a broad range of 1.5X right through to 6.0X enlargement formats, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. Enhanced magnification enables a clinician to position themself at a better ergonomic working distance from the patient, meaning that dental practitioners and surgeons no longer have to hunch over their patients or work in an uncomfortable posture, perhaps with the head titled to one side, in order to get a clear view of their working area. Instead they are able to work in a more neutral posture that allows the shoulders to stay level and the back and neck to remain straight, thus decreasing stress to the shoulders, back, neck and forearms.

The decrease in back and neck strain as well as eye strain is evident by the reduction in headaches and back problems reported amongst those clinicians who wear loupes – problems all too common within the medical and dental profession.

However, as with prescription spectacles, when it comes to truly enhancing clinical work and reducing eye strain, there is no match for customised dental loupes. Built specifically to cater for a practitioner’s individual working distance, bespoke loupes centre the depth of field so that the treatment site remains in view and in focus at all times. There is nothing more annoying than moving just a little and then finding that your patient’s mouth is out of focus, which is typically what will happen with ‘reading glasses’ style, off-the-shelf loupes. Not only do they have poor quality depth of field because they are not optically calibrated to deal with 3-D objects such as oral cavities properly, but they also often have low resolution which can result in a lack of image clarity.

Furthermore, a generous depth of field is essential to prevent back strain – the less you have to lean in or move around during procedures to see; the better for your back, so a full and comprehensive view of your patient’s oral cavity is preferable.

Good illumination takes things one step further, increasing depth of field, contrast and sharpness. Daylight lighting provided by a headlamp allows for perfect colour matching during cosmetic or restorative procedures whilst also reducing the likelihood of shadows or the need for an overhead operating lamp – something your patient may appreciate.