Advanced visualisation systems – A huge step towards modernising a dental practice
A hindered view of the oral cavity has long been one of the main obstructions for dental clinicians. The old adage, “You can’t treat what you can’t see” certainly rings true for most. However, visualisation in the dental surgery has come a long way and the introduction of advanced visualisation systems such as dental microscopes and loupes have increased the potential and variety of the treatment that can be offered.
Not only have these systems increased efficiency and improved clinical results, they have also had an impact on the health of the clinicians who use them. Using a set of loupes or a dental microscope allows the user to sit up right with a straight back, instead of slouching to try and find the best vantage point. Back and neck problems have long been a concern for those that work in the dental surgery, in some cases strain on the back and the neck has even been career ending. However, advanced visualisation systems are alleviating this problem.
The effect they have on clinical results, as well as the health of the user is why they are becoming such a worthwhile investment for the modern dental practice. Introducing one of these systems to the practice can be a daunting experience and many won’t know what they are looking for.
Dental loupes have changed considerably and are now much lighter than the bulky and heavy loupes of the past. A good set of modern loupes will offer a good declination angle and optics of the highest quality. For most, one of the main reasons for investing in a set of loupes is to reduce eyestrain, however a set of loupes that are not properly adjusted or wrong for the user will have the reverse effect. Calibrating a set of loupes requires consideration of a number of variables such as depth of field and working distance. One of the more important considerations is declination angle; this is the angle at which the eyes will be positioned to see the oral cavity. This should be between 15° and 44°, any angle below 15° will cause the clinician to strain their neck and any angle above 44° will mean that the clinician strains their eyes. This is why it is important to make sure that if you decide to invest in a set of loupes you buy them from a reputable company who can help you to set them up to suit your preferences.
One company which provides this service is Nuview, who stocks a range of loupes from Carl Zeiss, one of the most respected manufacturers of advanced visualisation systems. Nuview provides a service that ensures clinicians find the right system for them and that it is set up according to their needs and specifications. With a range of Carl Zeiss microscopes also available, they are able to help any clinicians who are thinking of introducing this type of system into their surgery.
Most associate the dental microscope with the field of endodontics, though many are finding that it is improving all aspects of their work. The remarkable visualisation that a dental microscope offers means that even general dentistry can be improved, with many practitioners even turning to their microscope when conducting patient check-ups. The addition of a dental microscope not only improves the current treatments that a practice offers, but also opens the possibilities of introducing new treatments to the practice’s repertoire. Expanding the number of services on offer will give a practice a significant advantage over its competitors.
As with a set of loupes, there are many factors that need to be considered when buying a dental microscope and it is important to invest in one that offers the greatest attributes. More advanced systems will offer features such as interchangeable lenses and special eyepieces for clinicians that wear prescription glasses. Some will also include filters; these will improve visibility of tissue structures whilst also preventing premature curing. Another feature that many are finding to be of great use is a five-step magnification changer, this facilitates a quick switch between different levels of magnification.
There are an abundance of extra features available that can be added to a dental microscope or a set of loupes to get the most out of each system. Illumination dramatically improves what is visible to a clinician, and whilst most microscopes will have a light source built in, not all will be as effective as a xenon light source. This will provide phenomenal depth orientation and make all areas of the oral cavity visible. A set of loupes will not come with a light source, but a light can be bought and attached to the frame for improved visualisation.
Introducing an advanced visualisation system into the surgery is a huge step when it comes to modernising a dental practice. The advantages are numerous, not only does it improve the practice’s clinical output, it also provides a healthier way for clinicians to work. With a multitude of accessories available, an advanced visualisation system can dramtically transform a dental surgery.