Beyond Endodontics: The microscope in dentistry
Is a dental microscope absolutely essential for an endodontist to perform their job? Well, some dentists would argue that nowadays, performing endodontic dentistry without a microscope is unthinkable. The modern dental microscope has revolutionised the way that endodontic treatment is carried out. Allowing for an average magnification of 4x to 24x and shadow free light from a coaxial radiating light source, the use of a microscope greatly expands the limits of visualisation.
By utilizing a dental microscope performing endodontic work becomes both quicker and easier. Across all of dentistry, visualisation is the key criterion to providing a competent and professional service, and this is especially true when it comes to endodontics. During a course of root canal treatment, most of the procedure is conducted within the tooth. Being able to see exactly what is being carried out is of paramount importance for a complicated situation like this. This is where a microscope simplifies the dentist’s work, allowing a perfect visualisation all the way down to the apex of a straight canal.
In fact, many dentists are finding that the dental microscope is not just redefining endodontics, but dentistry as a whole. Allowing for a for a vast range of clinical applications, the dental microscope is improving the standards of treatment. What a dentist can see is so important when analysing a patient and the crisp, clear images that a dental microscope can provide allows for an accurate and reliable diagnosis every time. Some dentists subscribe to the theory that once you have tried performing general dentistry with the aid of a microscope there is no going back.
Microscopes are developing at an incredible rate and many now have built in high definition photo and video capabilities. This allows the dentist to record what they visualise or even play it live through a monitor to show an assistant or patient. This multimedia proficiency helps to break down the barrier between the dentist and their patient. For a patient an image can say more than an infinite number of words ever could. By giving the patient a visual explanation of the problem, the procedure will be much easier for them to understand. This will put the patient at ease and allow for a more relaxed course of treatment. Being able to record video and images will also be incredibly beneficial for clinicians as having access to an image will allow for more precise decision making prior to treatment.
Despite the remarkable benefits of a dental microscope for clinical assessment, it also assists a healthier way of working for dentists. The use of a microscope allows its user to sit upright in an appropriate working posture. As many dentists use their microscope throughout the day for many kinds of treatment, this allows for an ergonomic and healthy approach to general dentistry.
However, despite the clear advantages of a using a dental microscope, many dental professionals would assert that a dental microscope is only a useful piece of equipment if its user has the appropriate know-how. Without the right amount of experience, knowledge and skill a microscope will not be used to its full potential. Though it will provide fantastic visualisation, a dental microscope won’t actually be ‘assisting’ any procedure, a microscope will only ever be as good as its user. This means that in the hands of an accomplished endodontist the capabilities of what can be treated, rather than extracted are dramatically increased.
One of the leading makers of dental microscopes is Carl Zeiss. Its range, including the OPMI® Pico and OPMI PROergo, incorporate all of the features that make the modern dental microscope the revolutionary piece of equipment it has come to be known as. Using a microscope from a world-renowned name will, in the right hands, achieve phenomenal results. With its elegant design, the dental microscope is quickly becoming an intrinsic part of the modern dental practice. Allowing a dentist to explore new treatment possibilities it has established itself as an essential part of performing comprehensive endodontic treatment.
The increased magnification possibilities of a microscope mean that its use has been remarkably influential in the way that endodontic treatment is performed. But many dentists are discovering that the convenience of using a microscope is applicable to all areas of dentistry. With ergonomic and technological advantages as well, the microscope is becoming a piece of equipment that receives frequent use in the surgery. Many dentists argue that having the knowledge and experience to perform specialised procedures is more important. Having this knowledge is of course vital, but even with this knowledge, at the end of the day, if you can’t see the problem you can’t treat it.