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Optical aids have been known to be among the important devices in dentistry and microsurgery. Magnifying optical aids are proven to enhance visual acuity or the ability of the person to see every fine detail of the work or surgical field. Most often than not, deficiencies in visual which often lead to poor performance and misdiagnosis are associated to the type or kind of optical aid the surgeon or the dentist uses.
The use of magnification devices in dentistry has been around for centuries already. However, not all dental practitioners truly understand how important it is to pick the right optical aids. There are actually a few kinds of optical aids available today. And because each of these aids is not created equal, you should be able to know the differences between them as well as the proper ways to use them.
Here are a few dental and surgical loupes commonly used today.
The operating microscope also called as the surgical microscope or dental microscope. is an optical microscope that is specifically manufactured for surgical setting usage. It is very helpful when it comes to performing procedures like microsurgery and endodontic retreatment. The operating microscope can vary from 4x to 40x magnification factors. However, the available magnification for dentistry ranges only from 4x to 10x because of the overview and the depth of focus. Its working distance can be adjusted to the user's height or specific preference.
The Galilean loupe is the most widely used dental or surgical loupe. Typically, it comes in a conical shape with only 2.5x to 3.5x magnification. Its working distance can also be adjusted to the height, personal preference, and the ergonomic needs of the dentist. It has an optical system that is consists of a mixture of concave and convex lenses.
Single-lens Dental Loupes
The single-lens dental loupe is by far the most affordable and simplest kind of loupe available today. Generally, single-lens loupe only comes with at most 2x magnification. Although it can be used to enhance your vision, it does not to always offer ergonomics benefit. As the magnification increases, the distance to the object or the working distance decreases. If you want to opt for higher magnification, you will still need to lean closer to your patients' mouth in order to see clearly. This can result in poor posture, backache, and muscular pains.
The prismatic or Keplerian loupe has an optical system that is consists of complex convex of prisms and lenses which allow different working distances and magnification levels. For dentistry, the available Keplerian loupes vary from 3.5× to 6× magnifications.
Accordingly, the precision and accuracy of your fine motor skill or dexterity are limited both by the hands and the eyes. If you can not be able to clearly see every important detail of the object you are working on, your hands can't also be able to perform any dental or surgical procedures correctly and accurately. This is why you should not only focus on enhancing your hands' skills but on your vision as well.