Dental loupes. A minefield of different brands, types, and specifications - coupled with a lack of information available to determine the right loupes for you. It's no wonder that choosing a pair can be a daunting prospect for both students and dentists alike.
In the US, the majority of dental students use loupes - and the UK is slowly catching up.
This article has been written by dental students to give you an unbiased overview of dental loupes.
It has been divided into the following sections:
Why Dental Loupes?
Dental loupes are one of the most valuable tools to the practising dentist:
Types of Loupes
There are two types of loupes available, and are classified based on the positioning of the optics:
What to Look for When Buying Loupes
Ideal magnification: For general dental and hygiene work, 2.5x magnification is universally recommended. For more detailed work (eg endodontics), a higher magnification such as 3.5x and beyond is advised.
Ideal resolution: unfortunately, the only way you can determine resolution is by trying the loupes on yourself
3. Depth of field
Ideal depth of field: around 10cm should be sufficient
4. Field of view
Ideal field of view: for a pair of 3.5x mag, a field view of around 7cm (although remember this will decrease with increasing magnification). Choose a pair that allows you to see everything you need to see for your day to day procedures
As you have seen, there is far more to purchasing loupes than just the magnification. Other factors to consider are the weight of the loupes (remember that you will be wearing them for the majority of the day), and the availability of a light. When purchasing your own pair, remember to ask about all of the above criteria.
Questions to Ask Yourself