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A Guide to Dental Loupes!

A number of MSO dental students are at the stage of looking into buying dental loupes, so here I am making a guide to help you guys through the process. ^^

Why should I buy dental loupes?

As students and graduates, we aim to provide patients will a high standard of dental care under safe conditions for the entire dental team. Loupes can:
– Improve vision
– Provide the operator with a means of improving ergonomics
– And hence, may improve diagnosis and operative technique

When should I buy dental loupes?

Firstly, it is a personal choice. A lot of students and dentists do not own loupes, and practice without them for their entire careers. If you are interested in purchasing them, it is recommended, however, that you wait until you have some pre-clinical exposure to simple cons. It’s best to learn without loupes first, and then practice with them before you start seeing patients. Some universities may not give you a choice in the matter however (La Trobe in particular).

What should I look for in a pair of loupes?


What to look for
Points to keep in mind
Resolution Distinguishing on thing from another
– Depends of the quality of the lens
– Also influenced by light source
Depends on the design of quality of the manifacture
Magnification Increases image size
– Needs to be appropriate to what you are doing
– General dentistry (and student dentistry) should be around x2.5 (x3.5+ for specialist endo work)
– Higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view
Working distance Distance from your eye to the point of interest (mouth)
– Needs to be measured by a professional
– If wrongly measured, it will result in back, neck and eye strain pain
– Distances range from 300mm-550mm usually
– The taller you are, the longer the working distance will be
– The greater the working distance, the larger the filed of view
– This is the measurement that will largely determine your ergonomics
Field of view Area you can see through the loupes
– Want loupes with the highest field of view possible (do not have to move your head around as much)
– Depends on the size of magnification
– Higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view
Depth of field The distance you can move your head towards and away from the point of interest and still remain in focus
Angle of declination Angle of the pupil towards the area of interested when sitting straight up.
Other – Frames that sit as close to your face as possible (and wrap around)

– Light weight
– Comfortable nose bridge
– Headband
– Easy to clean
– Easy to store safely

– Need to be in compliance with OHS standards (no splash able to reach the eye)
– Not heavy on the nose bridge
-Soft and removes some weight
– Comfortable and easy to use

Which is better, Through-The-Lens of Flip Ups?

Through-The-Lens (TTL) are styles that the loupes are directly attached though the original safety glasses
Flip ups have the loupes as a separate attachment on top of the safety glasses


Weight Lighter weight
– Not much heavier than standard safety glasses
– May not require additional head band
– Require additional headband
– Increases fatigue on operator
Field of vision Larger because magnification sits close to eye Smaller
Angle of declination Fixed after loupes have been made
Hence you need all the measurements to be done by a professional and no mistakes made
– No need for adjustment
Angulation can be adjusted but may take more time between patients
Custom made and prescription Yes, need a professional to make the adjustments if eyes change
If prescription, you need to be professionally altered
No professional needed, and prescription lenses can be easily fitted
Comfort in talking with patient Lenses cannot be removed, hence need another pair of glasses or remove when talking to patient Can be flipped and talk to pt more easily
Share between clinicians No Yes
Cost Generally more expensive Less expensive

Advice I can give you is to organise a dental loupes trade show with your school so you can see the wide variety of loupes available to you. Try each pair on and see how they fit etc and make some lists of positives and negatives before making a decision. If possible, try to organise you can try the loupes on in a simulation clinic for a realistic scenario, and make sure you get any measurements done in a simulation clinic.

Further discussion of loupes is found here

Good luck!

Through-The-Lens style loupes:

Flip-Up style loupes:

    <blockquote>...</blockquote><br />
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      Ha. Didn't mean to post, wouldn't let me delete it. So dots was the best I could come up with :)
        Ill delete it for you :) Welcome btw!
          <blockquote>Ill delete it for you :) Welcome btw!</blockquote><br />
          Thanks! :D [MENTION=5617]miss_universe[/MENTION]
          <blockquote>Thanks! :D @<a href="">miss_universe</a> </blockquote><br />
          Just realized you are from Orange :) woop woop
          Image for the f<span style="color:#333333" class="colored">lip-Up style loupes is broken. Good read. I"ll get my assistant to hold a $2 magnifying glass from Hot Dollar.</span>
          <blockquote>Image for the f<span style="color:#333333" class="colored">lip-Up style loupes is broken. Good read. I"ll get my assistant to hold a $2 magnifying glass from Hot Dollar.</span></blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Fixed, thanks!
          <blockquote>Fixed, thanks!</blockquote><br />
          Also the flip up one at the bottom of the post is broken.
          Its being a bit glitchy for me but I can see a flip up style loupes at the end of the post, so let em know if its still being annoying.