The integration of the modern dental microscope
The ease with which we integrate technology into contemporary living is astonishing. To think that less than five years ago there wasn’t a market for tablet products like the iPad is hard to imagine. Many of us now own a tablet device and those who don’t will be more than familiar with them due to the frequency that we are exposed to them. It seems we can hardly turn on the television without seeing a newsreader or presenter with an iPad grasped in their hand. One of the most remarkable aspects of this story is the relative ease with which the tablet format has incorporated itself into the public consciousness. Considering there was no market for the product until 2010, it is rather surprising that we have taken to them with such enthusiasm.
It is true that a similar pattern has occurred in dentistry over recent years. There have been many important technological improvements in dentistry, but when asked what the most significant of these changes has been, most dentists would agree that there have been remarkable improvements in magnification and lighting systems over the last twenty-five years, most notably the modern dental microscope.
Similar to the way in which the surgical microscope is now established in a range of clinical applications, the dental microscope has redefined the very idea of visualisation in dentistry. This has been especially prevalent in endodontic work, where it is now almost inconceivable that work could be conducted without the assistance of a visualisation system. The dental microscope has integrated itself so inherently into the dental surgery that it is now seen as a vital piece of equipment in the dental toolbox.
One of the most recognised names in modern dental visualisation is Carl Zeiss. Having invented his first single lens microscope in 1847, the name Carl Zeiss now stands at the forefront of innovation in magnification systems. Available exclusively in the UK from Nuview, the Carl Zeiss OPMI Pico and OPMI PROergo models integrate many of the features that make the dental microscope such an indispensible part of contemporary dentistry.
The dental microscope was once a piece of equipment that was solely used by specialists, this is no longer the case. It has been recognised that even in general dentistry the application of a dental microscope will dramatically enhance the quality of work carried out. This level of visualisation is becoming indispensible in tooth preparation, periodontal treatment and microsurgical procedures. Utilising a dental microscope will not only allow precision that will improve aesthetic results, it will also help to produce an outcome which conserves the long term oral health of the patient.
Another area that the dental microscope is addressing is the gap between patient and dentist. Most modern dental microscopes either have fully integrated cameras or have the option to attach video equipment. This allows the dentists to involve the patient in the treatment in a more direct way. Often, explaining a procedure to a patient can be difficult due to the language barrier that dental terminology presents. However, a microscope with a camera attached introduces a visual element that makes it easier to explain procedures to the patient, allowing them to fully understand their course of treatment. In this case it is certainly true that an image speaks louder than a thousand words.
A microscope with an integrated camera is also extremely useful for taking photos that can then be used for patient records, allowing a more detailed account of the individual’s clinical history. The camera function on a dental microscope can also be harnessed for other uses. For example, a dentist who teaches will be able to link the microscope to a television screen, allowing their students to see what they are doing, for a more effective method of educating.
Using a dental microscope will not only extend the limits of visualisation, it will also accommodate a more healthy approach for the clinician. Using a dental microscope allows its user to perform whilst sat in an upright position. This means that the clinician reduces the risk of incurring any long lasting back or neck problems. With so much to offer it isn’t surprising to see how the dental microscope has integrate itself as an integral part of the dental surgery.
Clinicians can only treat what they can see, with a technologically advanced dental microscope they are able to visualise so much more, thus allowing them to offer greater levels of care. Not only facilitating a straightforward way of achieving fantastic results, but providing a healthier approach for the clinician, the dental microscope has become a piece of equipment that is truly invaluable in modern dentistry.