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Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author of 18 technology books, including the award-winning Green IT: Reduce Your Information System's Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line. As such, he’s particularly interested in the technological side of dentistry.
Why one dentist prefers wearing these loupes from SurgiTel.
Dr. Martin Goldstein, DMD, FAGD, a general dentist in Walcott, Connecticut, has used SurgiTel’s Compact Prism loupes for five years. He praises their field size, depth-of-field and comfort.
For many practitioners, Dr. Goldstein notes, loupes are an ever-present, vital piece of equipment.
“At this point in time I use them for everything,” he says. “My routine in the morning is: walk from my office, pass by a little supply room, pick up my loupes, plug in, put them on and then go to work. I never attempt to restore a tooth or diagnose pathology without putting my loupes on.”
Because loupes are so important, Dr. Goldstein looks for several qualities, ranging from function to comfort.
“Since you wear them all day they must be comfortable,” he says. “So, you want them to be lightweight. You also want hi-res vision such that when you look through the lens, it looks as sharp as can be. You want a superior depth of field, which is how much is in focus at any given time, so that you’re not really restricted with respect to backward and forward movement and not hampered by your view going out of focus. That’s critical, as is the size of the field of view. That is, when you’re working in the higher magnifications, how much of your working zone can you see when you’re wearing the loupes? You want that to be relatively generous.
“In the end, you want everything: You want it sharp and you want it big, and of course you’d like the ability to adjust parameters on the loupes so as to allow for comfortable and ergonomic posture while operating,” he continues. “This is especially important because it can help reduce the risk of neck and back pain. To that end, SurgiTel refers to the ‘angle of declination,’ which has to do with how your eyes and head have to tilt in order to comfortably look at your procedural field without experiencing neck and back strain. That’s something SurgiTel pays close attention to.”
“Interpupillary distance is another parameter that has to be custom adjusted, as does the working distance,” he continues. “These are all measurements that custom-made loupes should have incorporated into them in order to maximize their effectiveness.”
Dr. Goldstein says he also appreciates the loupes’ design and esthetics.
“You’d like them stylish,” he adds. “It may seem trivial, but the SurgiTel line has sort of an understated elegance to their look - simple, compact, not obtrusive. The frames that are offered are contemporary looking, so you almost feel like you are making a loupes fashion statement. You’re wearing these all day, and people probably see you more with your loupes on, so you want to be comfortable with your appearance to whatever extent is possible while wearing telescopes over your eyes. I wear the ‘through the lens’ variety. Those doctors wearing flip-ups have a little more flexibility on how they appear to patients.”
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Dr. Goldstein did his research before selecting the Compact Prisms. Their design and performance were important factors for him, setting them apart from other similar products.
“The design of the telescope itself, given the amount of magnification that is offered (as much as an 8x magnification) is remarkable,” Dr. Goldstein says. “Even though the magnifications are high, the small prism allows them to keep the form factor of the telescope relatively compact and as unobtrusive as it could be given the necessary length of the lens barrel. I think that distances SurgiTel, to some extent, from other manufacturers featuring different design parameters.”
An important part of Dr. Goldstein’s workflow is using digital cameras as an aid to show problems to his patients. He notes that his Compact Prism loupes help with that task.
“I do a lot with digital cameras and I have become a ‘fracture hunter’ with my loupes after having been told by one of my dental hygienists that it looks like there is a fracture occurring on one or more of our patient’s teeth,” Dr. Goldstein says. “Upon follow up, at a subsequent visit, I make sure to have my digital camera handy. After I remove the restoration and locate the crack with the aid of high magnification loupes, I take a digital photograph of it and demonstrate it to the patient. I blow it up on screen so that there can be sort of a co-diagnosis taking place.”
Comfort and ergonomics are especially important for dentists, and Dr. Goldstein notes that SurgiTel has a commitment to clinician well-being.
“SurgiTel, in this instance, deserves some recognition,” he says. “Their CEO B.J. Chang is committed to professional self-preservation. That is, professionals equipping themselves in such a way that they can maintain a healthy posture while practicing. They’re involved, not only with loupes, but with operator seating that’s ergonomically oriented and lighting systems that complement their loupes line. You cannot wear a high-powered loupe without an excellent LED; one that illuminates a broad field and affords one the true colors of what is being viewed.
“SurgiTel has embraced all of these considerations and uses them as a platform for how they market their loupes,” he continues. “It’s a high-quality approach to using increased magnification and helping, at the same time, to prevent those back and neck injuries that are so common in the industry. I think they’re to be commended for that.”