by Dr Sami Moid, Bakery Hill Dental, VIC
I first used loupes at dental school and even though they magnified, it was not a significant improvement. When I used a dental microscope for the first time, it was a huge improvement over loupes. I use the Leica M320 microscope with every procedure I perform.
What’s good about it
The highest magnification possible with loupes is about 6X. It can take time to adjust to loupes because your eyes need to adapt to a converging focal point. When looking through a microscope, the focal distance is a straight line. The M320 goes up to 40X magnification and provides a large, clear field of view.
When I do periodontal debridements, I can see the periodontal fibres move away from the tooth as I clean the calculus and tartar away. I can also see them come back like a wave when I’m done. It’s like performing Dentistry HD.
My current set-up has the M320 microscope attached to my dental chair. There is an HDMI lead that connects to a monitor so the patient can see what is happening in their mouth. I tend not to show them a live feed but I can make a video recording or take HD images. At the end of a procedure, I can show them each and every area where I have been working and it’s not a model or a stock image, but their own mouth.
What’s not so good
Even though the microscope can be attached to the chair or to the ceiling, it’s a bit bulky. There have been times when myself and my dental assistant have bumped our heads on the microscope.