Keeping in the Loupe

With all of the visual acuity it takes to perform dental procedures, magnification through the use of loupes can bring many benefits to the dental practitioner. First and most obvious, an enlarged view of the treatment area can result in more accurate and precise procedures and reduced eye strain and fatigue, and in addition to that, wearing loupes can also help dentists to maintain better posture and minimize back problems that result from constant slouching.

For some tips on choosing the right loupe, we checked out Orascoptic’s website and learned the following: First, it’s important to decide on a configuration. There are several designs to choose from, including flip-ups, through-the-lens (TTL), and through-the-flip (TTF). Some even have interchangeable inserts for prescriptions or laser filters. It is important to select a magnification power based on the type of procedures that will be performed. The lower magnifications provide a wider view, while higher magnifications provide a smaller field of view with greater detailing. Higher magnification is typically used by clinicians who perform more exacting procedures. A larger field width is recommended for the first time loupe users as it is easier to transition instruments into the field of view. For more from Orascoptic, check out the downloadable guide to buying surgical loupes on its website.

Another angle to wearing loupes is the angle of declination, which is the downward tilt of the loupes. This will determine how you will see when looking down at your patient. This angle needs to be adjusted to your specific needs and measurements to maintain proper visualization and posture.

SurgiTel’s website adds that a 2.5 times magnification is usually recommended for first time loupe users to provide a good balance between magnification and width of your field size. Experienced users can increase magnification to make your procedures easier. And for cleaning purposes, SurgiTel advises not to use Lysol or any cleaners with alcohol, ethanol, ammonia, glutaraldehydes, iodophors and do not autoclave. Usually a mild soap and room temperature water with a soft cloth can adequately clean, and special wipes are available for disinfection as well.

Designs for Vision’s website cites studies that report 87% of dentists suffer from some type of eyestrain, and second to eyestrain is lower back pain, which is experienced by 57% to 60% of surveyed dentists. When properly fitted to individual needs, dental loupes can help clinicians to approach more precise procedures with a much clearer outlook on the patient and the future.

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