Dental loupes are often cited as an essential piece of dental equipment, with users highlighting a wealth of benefits for dental professionals and their patients. The reasons for this are numerous:
As one might expect, dental loupes allow the user to view all details of the oral cavity with enhanced magnification; providing the user with vision far superior to that which could be achieved naturally. With this clear, crisp vision, users are able to see details not visible to the naked eye; resulting in improved diagnosis and clinical outcomes with reduced eye strain. Not only this, but as enhanced magnification offers enhanced precision and accuracy, experienced users often report they can work at a faster pace; allowing them to do more in less time.
Another major additional benefit of loupes is improved posture and reduced back pain, which is of vital importance when a reported 70% of dentists experience lower back pain . Eliminating the desire to move closer to the mouth, a good fitting set of dental loupes promotes better posture and a long and healthy career.
These benefits whilst extensive, are not always apparent immediately; and often using dental loupes involves a learning curve before all the benefits are experienced. Below, Svetlana Jemeljanova gives an honest appraisal of her journey as a hygienist with Loupes - from her thoughts on day 1 to her final thoughts and tips at 3 weeks and beyond.
Svetlana Jemeljanova - Hygienist - Dental Loupes Review
It took me nearly four years to finally invest in dental loupes.
Are they worth it?
Will I get used to them?
Will they slow me down?
Those were just some of the questions I was asking myself.
The below is my honest experience with loupes, as a first time user.
I was lucky enough to receive my loupes on a day when I had a very regular patient in practice.I felt relaxed and was very excited to try them, however unfortunately my first experience was not successful. I had difficulty even finding the surface of the tooth wearing my loupes, initially experiencing dizziness and nausea.
My experience with my second patient was even worse - my vision was blurry and I panicked and felt disappointed. I decided to practice at home with my family members using a disposable mouth mirror. I experimented getting used to magnification, trialing the best sitting position.
After 1 Week
I felt more confident and ready to try again. Luckily my first patient arrived earlier allowing me extra time to adapt to my altered vision. As a result, I was able to wear loupes for the full appointment! I did however, experience some dizziness and nausea at the end of the treatment.
I was pleased to use my loupes for every other patient this week.I did however, find it more difficult towards the end of the day due to blurred vision and general tiredness of the eyes.
After 2 Weeks
I was able to use my loupes for a full appointment with one patient, and for a mouth examination for another. I repeated this routine all week.
My dizziness and nausea have disappeared, however by the end of working day I am still experiencing the occasional headache along with some blurred vision.
After 3 Weeks
This week I decided to use my loupes for extra and intra oral examinations, BPE/6ppc and full mouth debridement. This allowed me a break from my loupes whilst flossing, polishing and providing oral health instructions.
By the end of this week I felt I was able to fully benefit from my loupes. My vision has improved significantly and I no longer strain my eyes.
I can provide a better treatment for my patients and I find I can get quicker results improving their periodontal health. Finally, I am getting less back pain. I find that I am forced to have good posture, otherwise my vision will be blurry.
- Time - Allow yourself longer appointments when first using loupes to get used to them. I definitely needed more than 30 minutes initially.
- Use fewer movements - I recommend smooth movements with your body. I found this resulted in better vision.
- Be patient - It will feel awkward at the beginning, however remember in time you will feel comfortable and feel the benefits.
 Garcia (2018) Expanding the Operating Field in Endodontics: From magnification loupes to microscope, accessed 02 May 2019, https://www.sciencerepository.org/expanding_the_operating_field_in_endodontics_DOCR_1-101#Conclusion