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Although dental loupes are durable precision optical instruments, they are still subject to usual wear and tear and accidental damages especially when not maintained and taken cared for well. If you want your loupes to last long, here are some of the surefire ways to do it.
Many dental professionals and surgeons consider their loupes and headlights the standard of care. With the benefits that these magnifying visual aids provide to their users especially in terms of occupational pain relief/prevention, precision, comfort, ease of use, and improved visual acuity, more and more dentists, hygienists, and dental clinical and surgical practitioners around the world are now starting to use dental loupes.
Dental loupes are magnifying lenses that enable the user to see a larger and clearer image of their field of view. This provides better access to the work area especially when paired with a dental headlight. With better access to the oral cavity and by allowing you to see within your working distance without having to bend forward or stay in an uncomfortable and unhealthy position, you can enjoy a less painful practice, improved productivity, and enhanced precision.
Dental loupes are available in different magnification powers- ranging from 2.5x to 6x. Choosing the magnification power depends on how you are going to use the loupes and also on your personal preference and needs. For instance, if you intend to use the loupes for general clinical works, the lowest magnification power must be enough. However, if you need the loupes for extremely delicate dental procedures that require more precise hand movements and better visual acuity like apicoectomy, you can opt for higher magnification power.
How to make your loupes last long?
Dental loupes, no matter how durable the manufacturers claim them to be, are still subject to usual wear and tear as well as accidental damages just like any other dentistry tools and equipment you use in your clinic. These precision optical instruments are delicate and can easily get broken when not maintained and taken cared of well.
While dental loupes won’t last forever, there are many surefire ways to keep them protected against accidental damages and unnecessary wear and tear. Below are some of these ways.
Keep your dental loupes clean
One best way to protect your loupes from unnecessary wear and tear is to do regular cleaning. If cleaning the loupes every after use seems to be inconvenient especially during busy days, at least make sure that you have them cleaned at the end of the day before storing them on their container.
There are things that you need to consider when cleaning and handling the dental loupes, though. Here is a step by step guide in properly cleaning the loupes.
First, remove the gross dirt and debris from the surface area by using a can of compressed air.
Spray a considerable amount of lens cleaner into the optics. Only use the lens cleaner suggested by the loupes manufacturer.
Wipe the optics with the use of a microfiber cloth. Never wipe the lenses and the frame with any cloth or fabric before doing step 1 first.
Clean the other parts of the instrument using a disinfectant wipe or a manufacturer-specified solution.
Dry the dental loupes using the microfiber fabric.
When cleaning the loupes, remember to avoid immersing them into any liquid even in pure water. Also, never use fabrics other than the microfiber cloth when cleaning the optics. Cotton wools and other types of fabric can possibly scratch the optics. Sterilize the instrument using the sterilization solution suggested by the manufacturer. Never use other sterilization methods like iodophor, chemiclave, autoclave, and glutaraldehyde as they can damage the optics and the frames.
Handle the loupes with extra care
The optics of this precision optical aid have special anti-reflective coatings that enhance the user’s viewing experience. These special coatings are quite sensitive to scratches and dents. If the special coatings get damaged, you cannot be able to enjoy anymore the same level of viewing experience as before. And so, you need to make sure that these special coatings as well as the entire frame are well protected.
Handle the loupes with care and don’t just toss them into your table or on any surface.
Never place the loupes especially the lenses against any sharp objects.
Be mindful of where you put the loupes. Don’t put them in areas where they can fall and get broken.
Always store the loupes in the padded box or pouch provided by the manufacturer when not in use.
Do not use abrasive cleaners, dishwashing liquid, or any soap when cleaning the optics as they can damage the special anti-reflective coatings.
Dealing with a broken dental loupe
It is quite tempting to do self-help solutions when your dental loupes get broken. There are a lot of tutorials online that can help you fix broken loupes. Whether you need to install a new nose pad, to replace a screw, to repair the temple tips, to reglue a telescope, or to re-create the exact position of the oculars, you can surely find some step-by-step guides online. However, it is still best to let the professional handle the problem.
You may be smart and capable of doing different things excellently especially in the field of dentistry but you are not a technical repair expert. Instead of fixing the problem, you may end up causing more damage to your loupes. To avoid this, refrain from troubleshooting and fixing the problem by yourself and seek help from a certified repair expert instead.
The best dental loupes and headlights are expensive yet worth it investment. If you want to make use of your precious loupes for many years and enjoy the value of your investment for as long as you can be, make sure to follow the above-mentioned care and maintenance tips.