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magnification in dentistry

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tirath's picture
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Joined: 31 Oct 2009

While magnification in general undoubtedly offers many benefits to both the practitioner and patient, dental loupes do have some distinct limitations associated with them when compared to microscopes, the most obvious being that loupes are restricted to a single level of magnification. Additionally, by design, loupes are a convergent lens optical system, which basically means that the clinician’s eyes must converge to view the operative field, possibly resulting in eyestrain and fatigue, especially at higher levels of magnification or after prolonged periods of use. With loupes, as the level of magnification increases so does their weight as well as the need for an adjunctive light source to help improve visualization, which further adds additional weight to the system which, in turn, can result in increased strain and fatigue of head, neck, and back muscles after prolonged use. Compared to microscopes, however, the limitations of loupes are dramatically offset by their significantly lower cost and ease of portability.

Despite their higher price tags, however, when the dental operating microscope is fully integrated into a practice and used to its fullest potential, a return on investment can be realized rather quickly. The three key factors which contribute to a microscope’s income-generating ability is increased visualization, digital documentation capabilities, and improved ergonomics.

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