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Dental loupes offer many benefits. Knowing all these benefits has greatly helped dental professionals in picking the right pair of loupes. When shopping for loupes, you need to consider its main components. Dental loupes are designed with three main components- the carrier lens, frame, and ocular. Learn more about them here.
Almost two decades ago, talks about the need for dental professionals to wear dental loupes had split the dentistry industry into two groups- one group is consists of professionals who believe in the importance of loupes and the other group includes professionals who are against the idea of using loupes. Fast forward to the current year, the benefits of using loupes have become more apparent, convincing more antagonistic dental professionals to switch groups. Today, the idea of using loupes across different dentistry disciplines has become widely accepted both by dentists and dental hygienists.
Loupes nowadays are not only used in clinical practice but also educational settings. Dentists and hygienists start using dental loupes as early as while still in dentistry school. Dental loupes have become a key tool that allows dentistry students to learn basic skills more quickly and to develop a healthy working posture early on.
Indeed, dental loupes offer many benefits. They help improve visual acuity, protect the body from musculoskeletal problems, enhance working posture, and promote a pain-free practice, to name a few. Knowing all these benefits has greatly helped dental professionals in picking the right pair of loupes.
Main Components of Loupes
Dental loupes are designed with three main components- the carrier lens, frame, and ocular.
The ocular, also called loupe or telescope, is the eyepiece where magnification is added. There are two primary types of oculars used for dental loupes- Galilean and Prismatic. Galilean loupes are those loupes with magnification levels ranging from 2.0x to 3.0x. Prismatic loupes are high magnification loupes. Their magnification levels range from 3.5x to 6.0x.
Oculars are positioned in two different ways depending on the type of loupes. They can be directly drilled into the carrier lenses or attached to the frame.
Through the lens (TTL) loupes
Through the lens (TTL) loupes are the design of dental loupes that feature drilled ocular. The ocular barrels of the TTL loupes are drilled, mounted, and secured directly into the carrier lenses. This makes TTL loupes lighter than its counterpart. TTL loupes are fully customizable and are personalized to meet the unique visual and comfort needs of the user. This type of loupes offers a wider field-of-view and steeper angle of declination.
Flip-up loupes are the type of loupes with ocular barrels attached to the frame through a hinge mechanism. It is called flip-up loupes because you can easily flip the oculars up when not in use and flip them back to working position when magnification is needed. Because of the added weight of the hinge mechanism, plus the protruding position of the ocular barrels, flip-up loupes tend to be heavier than TTL loupes. And they are more affordable, too. Flip-up loupes offer adjustable angles of declination and they can also be easily adjusted for multiple users. Adding and changing prescriptions is also easier with flip-up loupes.
Frame for dental loupes
Choosing the correct frame is as important as choosing the right ocular and magnification. The frame will be the one to support the entire loupes. And so, you need to make sure to choose a frame that is sturdy and stable enough to hold the added weight of the ocular, and perhaps of the dental headlight as well. It should be able to support the telescope and the other components of the dental loupes.
Just like sunglasses, there are also different frame options available for surgical loupes. Frames are available in a wide range of designs, colors, materials, and weight. Most dentists opt for conventional designs as they are generally lighter. Other dentists prefer to wrap around designs and frames with a protective seal as both offer built-in protection.
If you are looking for the most affordable frame, a plastic frame is a good option. Plastic is the most widely used material for dental loupes frame. Plastic frames come in different beautiful colors and designs. This is why they are popular among dental professionals who are looking for fashionable dental loupes. The downsides of plastic frames, though, are their stability and adjustability. They are less stable and challenging to adjust. They also tend to warp when used for long periods.
Light metal frame
Light metal frames are comparable with plastic frames when it comes to affordability and features. Frames made with light metal can be easily adjusted. However, they can’t hold their place long. To ensure utmost comfort, you may need to manually adjust the frame every now and then.
Frames made with titanium are the most durable options available for dental loupes. They can be expensive, though. Titanium frames are the lightest among the different types of frames. They also come in trendy designs. Titanium frames are also stable, can hold their position long, sturdy, and easy to adjust, making them a perfect choice for those looking for the best dental loupes with a frame that can last long.
The quality of the image that you see when looking through the dentist loupes depends greatly on the quality of the carrier lenses. The optical clarity is first defined at the carrier lenses. For optimal clarity, choose a carrier lens with high resolution. This will provide you with a clearer, more precise, and better view of the oral cavity.
If you need vision correction, you can also request to add your latest prescription to the carrier lens. You can also go without a prescription but you will need to wear contacts when wearing your loupes.