Test Drive: Reach a New Standard in Clinical Visibility With these Telescopes With Integrated, Wireless Headlight

[SPONSORED] John Flucke, DDS, shares his experience trying out the latest loupe innovation from Orascoptic.

Throughout my time in dentistry, I have relied on the power of visual communication. I purchased an intraoral cameral system in the early 1990s when the price was $15,000. The reason for that was simple: My undergraduate degree in psychology taught me that over 80% of what humans perceive about their environment comes from their eyes. Patients understand their conditions better when they can see them, and informed patients make better decisions regarding their overall health. All these years later, we still use intraoral cameras in my office every day.

Let’s turn this issue around. Patients make better decisions when they see better, so do doctors make better decisions when they see better? Of course they do. I started using magnification around 1995, and I have continued to improve my clinical vision ever since. I remember an instructor once telling me, “Flucke, in order to do well, one must see well.” This person wasn’t wearing magnification, but back then, no one did. However, that advice rings truer when you consider how superior magnification affects your dentistry.

Of course, magnification goes hand in hand with lighting. As you increase your level of magnification, the amount of light entering the telescope decreases. This is simple physics. As you increase magnification, you must also increase light, or you will lose clarity and detail. That is one reason I am a huge fan of having a bright light-emitting diode (LED) attached to my scopes. (By the way, I realize everyone calls them loupes, but I prefer to call them surgical telescopes. I think that term is more accurate.)

Having a bright light attached to your scopes provides amazing visualization. The operatories I designated as my preferred workspaces do not even have track lights. The amount of illumination I get from my scope-mounted LED is so good, I find track lights of no use. If you are still using track lights, pay attention to how often you move or adjust them during each appointment. You will be surprised when you pay attention to how frequently you stop to move the light. Having a light that is bright and readily available wherever you look becomes a necessity rather quickly.

That brings us to the reason for this discussion. I have recently been doing a test-drive of the new DragonFly system from Orascoptic. I’ve always been a fan of Orascoptic as a company. Their products are well made, hold up to the rigors of daily use (and occasional abuse), and provide phenomenal visualization of the field. That visualization is especially amazing when combined with one of their Endeavour XL lights. I love the Endeavour XL, but the drawback for me is the battery. The system requires a hefty battery connected with a wire.

A few years ago, the company came out with a radical new design that turned the magnification space on its proverbial ear. The new design, called XV1, was a huge leap forward in the world of dental magnification. It combined a sporty frame with the clinician’s choice of magnification, but the radical aspect was its built-in light. The design was such that the batteries were in pods at the end of the arms of the frame. This meant no battery pack on your waist or in your pocket and no dangling wire getting caught on things. The XV1 was the first all-in-one design of telescopes and light. I put an order in immediately.

Now we are seeing the next step forward in this concept with DragonFly. The smart people at Orascoptic took time to analyze their previous system and improve upon it significantly, considering different categories of end user and planning for them accordingly. Allow me to explain.

DragonFly is still a single-unit magnification and built-in light device. However, it comes in different sizes and models. The DragonFly Pro is designed for dentists and surgeons. It is completely customizable, meaning it can be ordered with any magnification setup that Orascoptic offers. The variable-level EyeZoom telescopes are compatible with the unit. It also comes with extra batteries and multiple light intensity settings and has a durable ceramic paint finish. There are 4 frame colors available: amethyst, charcoal, neptune, and olive. These colors make use of a ceramic polymer coating that is not only esthetically pleasing but also resistant to corrosion from disinfectants.

Then there is the DragonFly RDH. This model is designed for hygienists, featuring the RDH line of scopes made for the dental hygiene profession. There are 3 colors available: champagne, lilac, and midnight.

The third model is the DragonFly Neo. This model is intended for users on a budget and students. It supports the 4 most popular magnification levels preferred by first-time purchasers (×2.5 micro, ×2.5 macro, ×3, and ×3.5). I am impressed by this model. Magnification is no longer nice to have in our profession; it is a must-have feature. But for users on a budget, purchasing clinical telescopes can be a serious financial drain. By offering this model, Orascoptic provides a great product at a great price point.

All 3 models are available in small, medium, and large sizes, which is a big improvement over the XV1’s one-size-fits-all concept. In addition, every model comes with Orascoptic’s TruColor LED headlights. This makes shade matching while working with the light much easier. The company offers square or round lens shapes. This allows the user to customize the shape of the scope to the user’s facial features. It’s a nice benefit to have, and Orascoptic is currently the only company offering this.

I have been using a preproduction model for my test-drive, and I am impressed. One of the great things about being an established customer is the company has my measurements stored in my customer file. In normal circumstances, a sales representative would come by the office, take measurements, and custom-build the system for the user. For my test-drive, they took the measurements in my record and created a Pro setup based on those numbers. They were spot-on right out of the case!

The unit I’ve been testing is the Pro model, with a charcoal finish and adjustable (×3, ×4, ×5) EyeZoom telescopes. These scopes allow me to change levels by simply twisting the scope until it clicks into the correct setting. I have always been a fan of bright lighting, which is why I put up with the hassle of an external battery pack. My DragonFly Pro setup has the TruColor LED with a high output of 78 lumens and low output of 49 lumens. I have found the 78-lumen setting to be adequate for almost all my procedures. The DragonFly is extremely comfortable to wear. With the battery pods being at the end of the arms, the weight on your nose is reduced because of the counterbalance of the batteries. The batteries last longer than a single workday and are recharged at night.

This advance in telescope design and customization can be a true game changer for clinicians who are looking to enhance their working magnification and ability to bring sufficient light to the working area. The more you see, the better you can diagnose issues and treat your patients. The Orascoptic DragonFly can be set up to help any clinician do both.