What Are Dental Loupes?

by | Jun 19, 2019 | Family Dentistry

Have you ever noticed those special glasses with lights that your dentist wears? They’re called dental loupes and they’re one of the most important tools a dentist can have.

So how do dental loupes work? Well, they’re a lot like magnifying glasses, except they don’t have a handle. Instead, the magnifying lenses are attached to the protective glasses dentists wear. The magnifying lenses are extremely strong, making the patient’s teeth look to the dentist as though they’re 2x-8x larger than normal. The brand we use, made by Designs for Vision, Inc., make our patient’s teeth look the size of a golf ball!

Dental loupes fitted with lights are even more helpful because the lights on dental loupes are always pointing in the direction the dentist is looking. Plus, since there is nothing to obstruct the light between the loupes and the patient’s mouth, there is no risk of shadows obstructing the dentist’s view as there is when using a dental lamp.

Some dental loupes can even be mounted with cameras, so procedures can be filmed for educational or research purposes.

In short, dental loupes help us be more efficient so we can diagnose dental problems quickly and treat them accurately.

Types of Dental Loupes

There are three types of dental loupes:

  1. Flip-up Dental Loupes are adjustable, giving dentists the option to change the angle based on whether they are sitting or standing. They are attached to a small bar (usually near the nosepiece) mounted on the dentist’s protective eyewear and feature a hinge that allows them to be flipped up so they’re out of the way.
  2. Through the Lens (TTL) Loupes are fixed to the dentist’s protective eyewear and cannot be moved out of the way. They also feature a wider field of view than flip-up loupes. Plus, they can be customized by adding a prescription lens, if necessary.
  3. Through the Flip (TTF) Loupes are the best of both worlds. They feature the customization options of TTL loupes with the convenience of flip-up loupes.

All of the above loupes are equally efficient and are typically chosen based on the dentist’s needs and personal preferences.

Benefits of Dental Loupes

Aside from allowing us to provide better healthcare to you, there are plenty of reasons we wear dental loupes:

  • They increase efficiency. By helping us see better, we can clean your teeth and perform dental procedures quicker so you don’t have to spend half the day at the dentist!
  • They help us spot problems. Dental loupes help us see issues or signs of disease when they are just starting, so we can treat them before they get out of hand.
  • They help our posture. That’s right! Without dental loupes, we have to do a lot of bending and leaning that can cause a lot of back and neck pain. With dental loupes, we can see so well there’s no need for poor posture.
  • They protect our vision. Dental loupes keep us from having to squint to see small details, taking less of a toll on our eyes so we can continue to provide dental care for years to come.
  • They allow us to be precise. Precision is key in dental work. For instance, if you need a dental crown, our dental loupes help us see the tiny details in your natural teeth that we need to mimic to make your crown look real. If you have a cavity, dental loupes show us the color of your teeth so we can match the color of your filling.

At Salling & Tate General Dentistry, dental loupes are just one of the tools we use to ensure we’re providing our patients with the high-quality dental care they deserve. If you’re looking for the best dentists in Wilmington, North Carolina, give us a call to schedule an appointment at 910-256-9040.