Dental magnification loupes have been around since the 1980s. Originally used by endodontists, loupes were quickly embraced by general dentists and hygienists because of their ability to improve visual acuity and enhance meticulous instrumentation. As much as loupes have evolved, manufacturers continue to find ways to improve their design to benefit patients and clinicians. One recent development is the use of prism technology in the oculars that support a neutral posture for the oral health-care professional. LumaDent’s ErgoPrism loupes with waveLUX headlight are leading the way in optical advancements to provide clinicians with ergonomic relief that they’ve never experienced before.
More Chairside Impact:
Musculoskeletal disorders among dental professionals
It’s no secret that dental professionals suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). A survey of dental hygienists in 2022 concluded that 91% of respondents suffered from MSDs, which supports the notion that most clinicians practice with chronic pain.1 While many factors contribute to occupational discomfort, poor ergonomics continues to be number one on the list. Traditional loupes improve ergonomics by magnifying refracted light that passes through the ocular lenses. The oculars are positioned inside of the framed lenses at an angle that is custom-measured to suit the clinician. Although they’re positioned at an angle, the clinician must still tilt their head down to visualize the working area.
A better angle
The ErgoPrism ocular design uses pentaprisms housed within longer, bent oculars. Light passes through a lens, reflects at various angles within the pentaprisms, and results in a magnified image indirectly seen by the clinician. By creating a bent angle in the oculars, the clinician can view their working area indirectly by way of the prisms, allowing them to keep their head in an upright, neutral position.
The ErgoPrism system is extremely light, weighing less than three ounces. This is an important feature to consider when selecting ergonomic loupes, as some systems are significantly heavier, which can disrupt proper posture. Depending on the practitioner’s preference, magnification is available in multiple options ranging from 3.0x to 6.0x—much higher than traditional systems, thanks to longer oculars. As with any system, the field of view is inversely related to the magnification, and wearers can count on crystal-clear magnification from edge to edge regardless of the configuration.
Clinicians can use a corded or cordless headlight with the ErgoPrism system. The waveLUX corded headlight is a great companion to these ergonomic loupes, as it adds a mere five grams to the total weight. Unlike other corded lights, the waveLUX includes a set of two batteries that run up to 12 hours per charge, per battery. The battery conveniently secures to the clinician’s scrub top or jacket in the shoulder area with a magnet, eliminating the unpleasant experience of snagging door handles and dental equipment when compared to batteries that use a longer cord and secure onto the waistline area. Activated by either the wave of a hand or by using the on-off control, the LED light will shine with a brightness of up to 50,000 lux but can be manually adjusted using the brightness adjustment knob. Just like the image viewed through the ErgoPrism loupes, the illumination provided by the waveLUX headlight is circular, clear, and evenly lit edge to edge.
Ergonomics is the cornerstone of career longevity for the dental professional, and loupes have come a long way over the years to support neutral posture. LumaDent’s ErgoPrism loupes and waveLUX headlight have been expertly designed to protect the provider’s musculoskeletal system for comfortable patient care. Using nextlevel technology, quality materials, and customized configurations, clinicians can practice with confidence and peace of mind. If you’re looking to invest in your health with ergonomic magnification loupes, rest assured—LumaDent has you covered.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the September 2023 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.
- Saccucci M, Zumbo G, Mercuri P, et al. Musculoskeletal disorders related to dental hygienist profession. Int J Dent Hyg. 2022;20(3):571-579. doi:10.1111/idh.12596