Some tips when purchasing dental loupes

You might have been using a dental loupe since hygiene school. But the big question is, are they the right ones for you? In this article, we are going to explain how can you be able to know if your hygienist loupes are the correct ones for you. We will also discuss the critical measurements that you need to consider when picking dental loupes.

Depth & Field of View

The depth of field or depth of view is the range of focus or the depth of the area that is visible when working with the magnifying loupe. It is the measurement of how far or how near you can lean in or out but still be able to clearly see the target area. As a rule of thumb, for a deeper area of visibility, choose the one with a larger depth of view.

In addition, the size of the depth of view or depth of field is directly associated with both the working distance and the magnification factor. In other words, the larger the depth of field is, the longer the working distance will be, and vice versa. Likewise, the larger the depth of field is, the lower the magnification factor will be and vice versa.

The field of view, also known as the width of field, is the size of the image or the diameter of the field of the target area when using the loupes. The field of view is directly associated with the working distance, depth of field, and magnification factor. Dental loupes with a wider field of view have a greater depth of field and a longer working distance. While those loupes with a narrower field of view have a higher magnification factor.

Weight

Weight is another important factor to consider when buying loupes. You will typically use the loupes a couple of times every a day, from a few seconds to an hour or more at a time. It is important to choose loupes that are comfortable and that don’t feel heavy.

Working Distance

Dental loupes are manufactured with a variety of working distances. The working distance is the distance between the eyes of the user and the mouth of the patient. Choosing the right working distance will allow you to work on any dental procedures comfortably and in an upright position regardless of whether you are sitting or standing.

The right working distance will also help reduce muscular pains like a backache, shoulder stress, and neck pain which you normally experience when working for extended periods of time in an uncomfortable position because you have to lean in to better see your focused area.

To get your working distance, find your comfortable working position while standing or sitting straight in an upright position, and then slightly bend your head down. Measure the distance between your eyes and the opening of the mouth or the lower bridge of the nose of your patient. This measurement will be your working distance.

If you are not able to easily measure your working distance, you can perhaps ask someone to assist you in taking the measurement. Here are some standard working distance measurements:

– For someone whose height is 5’7″ or 170 cm, the standard working distances are 340 mm or 14 inches when in sitting position and 420 mm or 16 inches when in a standing position.

– For someone whose height is 5′ 7″ to 6′ 4″ or 170-190 cm, the standard working distances are 420 mm mm or 16 inches when in sitting position and 500 mm or 20 inches when in a standing position.

– For someone whose height is over 6′ 4″ or 190 cm, the standard working distances are 500 mm or 20 inches when in sitting position and 550 mm or 22 inches when in a standing position.

Angle of Declination

The angle of declination is the angle that the eyes of the dental loupe user are inclined downward towards the patient’s mouth or the work area. In order to attain a comfortable and upright working position, you must pick the loupe with a steep angle of declination. 20 degrees or less angle of declination is preferred as it allows minimal forward head posture.

Type And Design

The type and design of loupes will greatly depend on your own preference. Currently, the two basic types of loupes are the flip-up loupes and the through the lens or TTL loupes. Each of these loupes has its own pros and cons.

The angle of declination is the angle that the eyes of the dental loupe user are inclined downward towards the patient’s mouth or the work area. In order to attain a comfortable and upright working position, you must pick the loupe with a steep angle of declination. 20 degrees or less angle of declination is preferred as it allows minimal forward head posture.

Type And Design

The type and design of loupes will greatly depend on your own preference. Currently, the two basic types of loupes are the flip-up loupes and the through the lens or TTL loupes. Each of these loupes has its own pros and cons.

Not all dental procedures require the same level of magnification. It is important that you identify ahead of time how you are going to use the dental magnifying loupe. Picking the magnification level will also depend on the dental field. For implantology, specialty magnification general dentistry, and dental hygiene, a 2.5x, 3.0x, or 3.5x magnification level is enough. For endodontics, bridge and crown work, you can choose 3.5x or 4.0x magnification level. For dental technicians and those who will use loupes for lab work, the best magnification levels are 4.0x, 5.0x, and 6.0x.

Also keep in mind that the magnification level will directly affect other factors such as the field of view, depth of view, and working distance. The lower the magnification power is, the wider the field of view will be.

Prescription Glasses

If you wear prescription lenses, the best option is to pick flip up loupes, unless otherwise, you use a contact lens. It is easier to change the prescription lenses in a flip-up loupe than in a TTL loupe. Since the optical barrels of TTL loupes are directly drilled into the carrier lenses, changing the prescription glasses would mean doing the customization all over again, which can be quite time-consuming and expensive.

For maximum performance and to correctly integrate all prescription considerations into the lenses during the customization process, it is recommended that you get your eyes tested first before ordering the loupe most especially if you choose the TTL loupes.

Now that you’re an expert at choosing the best loupes for you, start your search here>>

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