I'm not sure if there’s anything more frustrating than attempting to perform meticulous hygiene instrumentation on a patient while battling an obstructed view. Many of us use magnification loupes, bright overhead lights, and are conscious of our patient and operator positions to optimize our visualization, but none of those things matter if one small thing is below standard: our mouth mirror. For many years, I had the unfortunate experience of using mirrors that were badly scratched, cloudy, and dim on the reflective surface with prophy paste and disclosing solution caked around the edges. I always made sure to keep replacement heads close to my working area so that I could change out my mirror when I couldn’t stand the hazy view any longer, but that seemed to happen often. A few months ago, my hygiene mentor gave me some Zirc mirrors, and they have become the exam tool I didn’t know I needed!
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Zirc’s Crystal HD mirrors have several characteristics that set them apart from the ordinary. Unlike traditional rhodium-coated mirrors, the Crystal HD mirror is made with multiple layers of metal oxides that provide a much higher reflective value, allowing for a significantly clearer, brighter image. This technology enables the mirror to illuminate your visual field in a way that other mirrors simply cannot. Now that I’ve experienced the difference, rhodium mirrors remind me of the view I get when I look out my window on a foggy, overcast day, versus the clear, sunny display I get when I use my Crystal HD mirror. The difference is truly astounding!
Another feature I like about the Crystal HD mirror is how easy it is to keep clean while I’m using it intraorally. With most other mirrors, once I notice too much debris or saliva on its reflective face, I have to turn away from my patient, grab a 2x2 gauze, and thoroughly rub it clean before I can continue. In contrast, I’ve noticed that a simple swipe with my gloved thumb removes any accumulation on the Crystal HD mirror without leaving streaks or smudges. It’s a small time-saver that makes me that much more efficient. The face of the mirror is also perfectly flush around the edges, so I never have to worry about debris accumulating with continued use.
The last thing I’d like to spotlight with the Crystal HD mirror is its resin casing. When comparing it to most mirrors with stainless steel components, the resin material provides a few advantages for both patients and clinicians. Aside from its lightweight feel and easy-to-grip handle, I don’t have to worry about patient injury if their teeth happen to contact the resin during examination. It’s much softer on enamel, and there is no chance of galvanic shock when using around metal restorations.
All mouth mirrors are not created equally. I have come to love and expect the quality, clarity, and brilliance of Zirc’s Crystal HD mirror and know that my assessment and instrumentation has improved with enhanced visualization. This product has become something I simply must have when I’m providing clinical care, and I would recommend it to any clinician who is looking for the best tools to have in their hygiene armamentarium. May your mirror—and your future—be clear and bright!
Editor's note: This article appeared in the October 2022 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.