Q&A with Dr. Darryl L. Hatchett, DDS, Denver, N.C.
An ADA survey found 80 percent of dentists report work-related pain. This pain can not only affect the day-to-day performance by dental team members, but it can also shorten careers. That’s why ergonomics and healthy practices are critical to clinicians. And that’s where SurgiTel can help.
Since 1932 SurgiTel (the company originally produced optical components under the name General Scientific Corporation) has been innovating in the field of optical technology. Their unique loupes, headlights and other optical accessories provide both the magnification power and the ergonomic support to make your work better. The company achieves this through unique designs, their patents and their partnership with Oakley Inc. SurgiTel’s facilities are located in Ann Arbor. Mich.
The primary loupe customization that can make or break your working ergonomics is declination angle (DA). For more information on the benefits of custom loupes, visit surgitel.com and also sign up for the company’s ErgoPractice newsletter (surgitel.com/news).
Why this is all so important
Improperly designed or fitted loupes can create serious ergonomic problems such as eye strain, headaches, neck pain/injury and upper back pain/injury. And improperly designed LED headlights may stress and damage your vision. Before purchasing loupes you owe it to yourself to understand the ergonomic issues related to loupes.
Custom TTL Loupes and Custom FLM Loupes
Custom TTL loupes are built for specific users but they are made based on one set of measurements for a specific working posture. Due to limitations of traditional designs, the DA of traditional TTL loupes cannot meet minimum ergonomic requirements. SurgiTel offers truly ergonomic DAs with its various frame options and proprietary production techniques. If users know their true working posture TTL loupes may be a good choice.
FLM loupes are adjustable and the user can change the position of their loupes at any time. This way, a user can adjust their loupes no matter how or where they are working.
FLM loupes are often recommended for students, who are just learning how to work, so they don’t get stuck with non-adjustable loupes they can’t change. FLM loupes are also easier to adjust for maximum DA for any user in any situation with any frame option.
Dr. Darryl Hatchett’s experience
“I decided on the Micro Prism 4.5x Front-Lens-Mounted loupes. My rep Tim showed me how to customize my loupes whenever I desired, including adjusting the declination angle. We placed an order and he told me that it was about three weeks to build and deliver. He asked me to let him know if I had not received them in three and a half weeks and he would follow up for me. I actually received them three weeks to the day of Tim placing the order.
After the first few days, I finalized the adjustment of my loupes, and of my posture. It only took about a week for me to notice a decrease in the pain in my anterior neck and shoulder. I feel that this is not only due to the increase in declination angle, but the weight of the SurgiTel FLM’s being lighter than my old Orascoptic TTL’s. I measured the declination angle of my loupes to compare. My SurgiTel’s are at 47 degrees and my Orascoptic’s, even after they were returned, were only 28 degrees. Tim had also told me that I could easily change end caps on the loupes to either increase or decrease the working distance if I so desired; yet another great feature.
I am very happy with my new SurgiTel FLM loupes. The pain in my neck and shoulder has reduced tremendously and is continuing to get better. I feel that SurgiTel is way ahead of the game compared to their competitors in ergonomic features. The extremely light weight and easily customizable features are much better than other brands in the overall comfort of the practitioner. At different times in the past three years, I have wondered if I would have to change careers due to too much pain. Thanks to SurgiTel, I no longer have to worry. My physical therapist constantly calls now to see how I am doing. I am sure it is strange for him not to see me on a regular basis anymore! And it is a nice change to not have to include a physical therapy appointment on the calendar every time I have a day off. This is thanks to SurgiTel.”
Watch the video below to see a demonstration of SurgiTel's Eclipse LED: