This article is sponsored content brought to you by Heine.
When we mention the word ‘loupes’ to an Australian dentist, the response is usually, “yes, I have a pair” or “I am looking to get some”. This is a comforting sign that the benefits loupes provide are well recognised. The flip-side of this, however, is that in some instances, purchasing a pair of loupes can cause more frustrations than benefits. This is why we believe it is so important to be well-versed in how loupes work and the technical specs before making the investment.
Regardless of if it is your first pair, upgrading magnification or getting a completely new setup, the below information lists some critical aspects of all loupes which we consult our dentists on before deciding what to get:
The most commonly used magnification is 2.5x. This applies to dentistry as well as other specialist medical areas. The 2.5x is equally suitable for novices and experienced users. With more experience, higher magnifications can be used, particularly for micro-surgery, however it is not always needed.
Working distance (X) / Depth of Focus (Y)
HEINE offers the ideal working distance for every application and user, from 340mm through to 520mm. The optimum working distance is not based on the loupe, but on the size of the user and the type of treatment. Having correct posture when wearing loupes indicates you have the right working distance. The depth of focus for loupes is very simple to check: you measure the closest and furthest distance in which an object can be seen in focus. The bigger the distance, the more flexibility of movement you have.
Field of View
This is the area you can see when looking through the loupes. Loupes with a big field of view are generally easier to use, however it is important to check for no aberrations/blurring at the edges.
Angle of declination
This is the angle between the line of sight in the normal eye position and the user’s lowered eyes (without bending your neck). The ideal angle is approx. 45º and in most cases, can only be achieved by a ‘flip-up’ flexible design. This is arguably one of the moist critical aspects because getting it wrong can result in chronic injuries.
All loupes have variations in their design, most notably TTL (a fixed, Through The Lens design) or Flip-Up (completely flexible design). These can come on either a frame or headband. We recommend having a system that offers complete adjustment and flexibility to suit your specific needs; face geometry, angle of declination and comfort. Getting this right will mean you can wear them comfortably on every patient, every day.
The optical performance of loupes can be dramatically different between brands (just like camera lenses), and unless you know what you are looking for, it can be confusing. Essentially, when light travels through a lens, it gets compromised. There are a number of treatments that high-quality lenses have that make the image you see as close to perfect as possible:
Multi-coating = reduced reflections. Achromatic = bright, vibrant colour transmission, free from distortions. Sealed optics = ensures no dust or water can enter the system. Warranty = confidence in reliable performance.
HEINE Optotechnik, as the name suggests; Optotechnik = Optical Technology, have specialised in medical optics and illumination since 1946. We are passionate about producing the highest quality loupes and headlight systems and ensure this through our commitment to superior PERFORMANCE, FUNCTION and DURABILITY. Almost 75 years on, our values remain the same and the reputation we have developed with Dentists is testament to this.
Aaron Harvey , VP Sales and Marketing | HEINE Australia