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There is not much information to read about the real cost of dental loupes both online and offline. Although retailers and manufacturers post details of the loupes they are offering with the price, there is actually no available information as to what factors affect the cost.
Additionally, you can also find a lot of forums online with users discussing the cost of loupes. Unfortunately, most of them date back to a few years ago, making them not sufficient enough. Chatters regarding loupes that date back a few years ago may give you an idea about the cost but you can’t solely rely on them. For instance, the cost of the loupes offered five years ago can’t be compared with those offered today or in the future.
Back then, only a few companies manufacture and sell dental loupes, most of them are from the USA and some are from Europe. As more and more professionals realize the benefits of using high-quality loupes, many dental and medical professionals are encouraged to buy their own pair. Eventually, magnification optical loupes became a standard of care especially in the world of dentistry. Due to the impressive economic potential and the increasing demand for better quality optical aids, many companies now jump into the arena of innovating and manufacturing dental magnifying loupes.
Every year, dental loupes manufacturers come up with new ideas and major innovations to improve not only the design itself but also the entire system and the optics. Some even added light integration to make the loupes more efficient and effective. All these and more can affect the cost of the loupes.
There are a lot of factors that affect the cost of the loupes. In this post, we will discuss the major factors and provide you as much information you needed to help you come up with the right decision.
Factor # 1: Quality
The quality greatly affects the cost. Low-quality loupes are generally offered at a low price while those high-quality loupes come with a hefty price. In most cases, bargain loupes are made only with low quality and less durable components.
But this does not automatically mean that expensive loupes are always of high quality or cheap loupes are of low quality. You have to also check closely the other factors to make sure you get what you are paying for regardless of whether you are buying an expensive or a bargain product.
Factor #2 : Optics
The optics are the most crucial part of the dental magnification loupes. If you want the best experience and the best value for your investment, make sure to choose those that are made from high-quality optics. One of the best optics for dental loupes is the German medical grade optics. These optics are proven to last for years. Depending on how you handle and take good care of your loupes, they may last for even a decade or more.
Also, German optics offer the highest resolution and nicest contrast. Those loupes made with German optics have the ability to distinguish between closely spaced objects, making the image clearer without any color or optical distortion. German optics are also manufactured in very high index glass. This helps minimize weight while still providing a high-quality image.
Be careful, though. There are a lot of manufacturers that claim that they use only high-quality medical grade optics but after a few months, you will notice a gradual decrease in the quality. It helps to read the reviews and labels to know if the loupes really have high-quality optics. Also, a visual and actual inspection can help you determine the optics quality. Check the resolution. Do the loupes offer clear, distortion-free image from the center to edges or does the image tend to get blurry around the edges?
Factor # 3: Design
Dental loupes come in various designs. Unlike before, you no longer need to feel awkward or shy wearing the loupes. Most modern loupes no longer make you look like someone from a sci-fi movie. There are different stylish design and color options available today. You can now find a fashionable design and color that will best fit your needs and preferences. Of course, these stylish designs are quite more costly than those old fashion, awkward looking ones.
Factor # 4: Style
Dental loupes are primarily available in two styles- flip-up and through the lens. Both of these styles offer different advantages and disadvantages.
- Flip-up loupes have optical barrels that are attached to the frames through an adjustable hinge mechanism. They are less expensive than the TTL loupes but they are often heavier than the latter. Flip-up loupes can manually be adjusted (specifically in terms of interpupillary distance) and can cater to various users.
- Through the lens or TTL, loupes are the lightest option available. Their optical barrels are directly drilled into the carrier lens, thus minimizing the weight caused by protruding barrels and eliminating the added weight of the hinge mechanism and other components used in flip-up loupes. TTL loupes can be customized as per your needs and preferences and are a better option for those looking for lighter loupes. If they are customized for you, only you can use and fit them. They are, however, more costly than flip-up loupes and customization can also be expensive.
Factor # 5: Prescription
Another factor that affects the overall cost of dental loupes is the prescription. Generally, the cost of adding or modifying the prescription varies depending on the style or type of loupes you are using. For instance, adding the prescription to TTL loupes needs major work, this may cost more. Whilst, adding a prescription to flip-up loupes requires less intricate work and can easily be done without modifying the entire system. You can add it to the carrier lens or to the optic itself. It is likewise less costly.
Factor # 6: Frame
A few years back, frame options are very limited. Back then, loupes come with masculine and awkward-looking frames. Most of them are really heavy and offer only just a few adjustments. Thankfully, modern loupes users no longer have to endure the massive weight as there are now better options.
Loupes manufacturers are now competing against each other not only in terms of quality and price but also in weight. The most commonly used frames today are made from materials like nylon, titanium, plastic, and carbon composite. Each of these materials offers different advantages and disadvantages, and they all affect the overall production cost of the loupes.
* Plastic frames are the cheapest and the lightest option available. However, they are mostly unbendable and can’t accommodate adjustments or modifications. The angle and fit are also generally fixed. You can’t easily fit them to the shape of your nose bridge, shape and size of your head, or ear height unless it is specifically customized for you. Also, they are less sturdy and stable. They can’t hold heavy loupes or high magnification loupes with bigger optical barrels. Also, when additional weight is mounted like if you add a dental headlight, they may not be able to endure it without affecting stability.
* Nylon frames are yet another budget-friendly option. It is likewise lightweight. Unlike plastic frames, nylon frames are customizable. Nylon frames and plastic frames are usually used in budget loupes.
* Carbon composite frames are also an amazing lightweight option. They are bendable and can easily be adjusted for a customized fit. Carbon composite frames are also quite durable. But, they are more expensive as the nylon and plastic frames.
* Titanium frames are the most widely used option today. You can specifically see them on high-quality loupes. They are known for being very lightweight, sturdy, and durable. A titanium frame can hold and support heavier loupes. It can stay still and hold its stability even if high magnification loupes with large optical barrels and portable dental headlights are mounted to it. The titanium frame can also last longer and are more resilient to scratches and dents. It is also customizable and can easily be adjusted to fit your facial structure. You can bend the temple arms to perfectly fit it to your head or adjust the front of the frame to ensure proper balance and better comfort.
Many loupes nowadays come with adjustable nose pads. These provide more adjustment options for users, allowing them to position the distance of the loupes from their eyes. For instance, if you want the loupes to sit far from your eyes, you can simply squeeze the nose pads and bring them closer to each other. If you want it closer to your eyes, just bring the nose pads slightly away from each other. This feature is very helpful especially to those with long eyelashes.