The effect of bad posture on an individual’s health and career is becoming a more discussed problem within the profession. Manufacturers have recognised the need to aid with health and safety within the dental surgery, and hold ergonomics as a high priority. Microscopes, dental chair design and surgery workflow are among the innovations to aid the practitioner in minimising poor posture. However, one of the most practical and accessible pieces of equipment that has revolutionised a dentist’s comfort are dental loupes.
Practice with loupes begins early at undergraduate level (in the USA, the majority of students learn with loupes). The earlier a dentist adapts to wearing loupes, the sooner bad posture habits can be dispersed. Learning to love loupes is very much like learning to ride a bike! It takes practice and dedication, but the benefits are worth it. Experts in the field recommend you start with low magnification and then modify your current working habits accordingly, before going to the next level.
Loupes allow a ‘neutral body posture’ to be held, which is a key principle in dental ergonomics. The neck and back are the areas of the body that take the majority of the stresses of incorrect posture, but with loupes that are customised to the individual’s needs, these stresses can be reduced, if not eliminated. Being able to see the oral cavity clearly and maintaining a healthy working posture is nearly impossible without some type of magnification.
Research by Brown et al. in 2010 looked into reasons for early retirement due to ill health. Of nearly 190 dentists questioned, the most common cause of ill health retirement was musculoskeletal disorders. It has also been found that incorrect working posture is the major cause of musculoskeletal problems within dentistry. An astonishing 60-80% of dentists report experiencing chronic back and neck pain at some point during their career.
Nuview distribute loupes that are manufactured by Carl Zeiss. The EyeMag Pro are the loupes to choose if you require high magnification for intricate dental procedures. They offer a wide selection of working distances meaning they can be individualised, therefore maximising comfort, and delivering outstanding image quality enabling differentiation between the most complex of structures. If loupes are required for more day-to-day work then the EyeMag Smart may be the the solution. The range of tilt and angle settings means these loupes can be adjusted easily and quickly and further still with the new ‘sports frame’ they have a modern, attractive design.
There are fewer reasons to suffer on a daily basis whilst performing dentistry, and in the longer term, a better chance of reducing the need to retire prematurely. In the not-too-distant future, it will be considered the norm to wear loupes, not the exception. If you are ready to invest in improving your health at work and to maximise your career, then take that leap in to loupes today.
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2. Pheasant S, Haslegrave CM. Bodyspace: anthropometry, ergonomics, and the design of work. Bocca Raton: Taylor and Francis. 2006.
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4. British Dental Association. Occupational back pain – Factsheet. 2010.
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