Dental loupes are precision instruments and should be shopped for as such. How should one go about finding the right loupes online?
Choosing the Right Dental Loupes Online
Proper choice of dental loupes requires preparation before you begin to shop, and the more carefully you measure your working distance and decide your magnification, the happier you’ll be with the loupes you choose.
Taking your measurements will require a tape measure or tailor’s measuring tape, and it should be done where you work on your patients. Ideally, you should have a member of your staff or other volunteer stand in as your “patient” during the measurement process, and you should take every measurement twice.
Below I’ve outlined the best way to measure for your loupes:
- Measure yourself in the place where you work, and be sure to take the measurement while standing or seated if you stand or sit while working. If you sit, sit in your usual chair.
- Your working distance is the main thing you will measure, and it is important to do it carefully. Stand or sit according to your working habits in the spot where you work on patients, and have a stand-in sit or lay where your patient typically does. Raise or lower the seat according to your normal habits, and position yourself in your normal working position. You are now ready to take your measurement.
- Using a tape measure or measuring tape, measure the distance from the bridge of your nose to the spot where you are working (mouth, body, etc.). Stand up, move about a bit, come back to reposition yourself, and take the measurement again. If it does not match the first measurement, repeat this step until you are comfortable with a consistent measurement.
- It is helpful to also measure the closest and farthest points at which you work to see if your first measurement falls in the center of these two points, or if it is towards one of the extremes. If you do a lot of moving around, you should pay attention to depth of field, and you should choose a loupe whose central working distance is roughly in the center of your preferred range of working distances.
- The higher the magnification of your loupes, the narrower your depth of field will be and the smaller your working area will be. Depth of field is the range of working distances that are in focus for the loupes. For instance, one of the working distance ranges for our 2.5x-3.5x loupes is 11″-15″. This means that the depth of field is 4″, so you have 4″ between 11″ and 15″ working distances where your loupes will stay functionally in focus.
- If you need a large depth of field, choose a loupe between 2.5x and 3.5x magnifications. These have the largest depth of field ranges and are the most commonly chosen magnifications. Most hygienists and dentists doing routine work will choose a loupe in this category.
- If you are doing very fine work such as small surgeries or root canals, choose a loupe between 4x and 6x magnification. You may also decide to use a loupe with 8x magnification, but this is only a good idea if you have experience with using loupes as the depth of field and working area are very, very small for these (about the size of a fingertip). The working area for 4x-6x loupes range from the size of a silver dollar to the size of a nickel.
- Once you’ve chosen your working distance and magnification, you are ready to shop for loupes. If you wear prescription glasses or reading glasses, it is a very good idea to order prescription loupes. They are much easier to work with than clip-on loupes, and without the prescription or reading magnification, your working distance will be altered. This is hard to compensate for.
- If you are working in a small space (like inside a tooth or crevice), or if you need very bright lighting while you work, it is a good idea to purchase a loupe light with your loupes. Our loupe lights clip directly onto the loupes and are very lightweight. This allows you to ensure that your loupe light is always focused precisely upon the viewing area of your loupes.
If this process seems complicated or confusing to you, you are welcome to call us for further instruction and one of our staff loupe experts will be happy to answer whatever questions you may have. The purchase of dental loupes and prescription dental loupes should be a well-prepared and thought-out decision. Most doctors and hygienists only order loupes once every few years, so you want to get something that you are happy with.
Our loupes are designed to function well in all medical and hobbyist environments and are coated and engineered to withstand the day-to-day demands of a working medical professional. We hope you enjoy shopping for your new loupes.
Do you use dental loupes? What are some of the aspects that matter most to you when choosing your loupes?