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the use of loupes in dentistry

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careforteeth

Junior member
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
7
Location
North America
Hello All,

I have recently moved to Dublin, Ireland from North America, and I have just gone to a new dentist for the first time in over a decade. This was for an initlal check up, and also a 2nd follow up appointment to have an irritating small shard of excess tooth removed from my gum.
My choice of this dentist was based on online research, and things like their several decades of experience, their use of dental technology that seems more modern than in some dental offices here (like radiographs), very postive online reviews, and a clean office. This dentist did what I feel was an excellent job in explaining their findings after an initial exam, and I had overall sense of their professionalism and likeable demeanor which helped me feel less anxious.

My perhaps biggest initlal concern about this denttist is that they did not use loupes to magnify their work. They just used the bright overhead lighting over the chair to look at my teeth. My previous dentist always used loupes.

My question is how much of a significant limitation is it when a dentist does not use loupes, when it comes to the quality of their work? How big of a concern is this for me as a new paitient?

Thank you for this forum, it has been extremely helpful.
 
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LittleLynnie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
322
Location
Canada
I'm in Canada and our dentists have always only used very bright overhead lights. I personally don't think that I would like a dentist to use a loupe, because that might make them liable to treat things far too early, or treat things that don't need to be dealt with at all.
 
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geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
497
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I’m also in Canada and one of my previous hygienist and dentist would occasionally use loupes. One of the reasons for a dentist, or hygienist, to use loupes is in fact to minimize the slouching when treating patients and the related pain or discomfort.
 
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careforteeth

Junior member
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
7
Location
North America
I'm in Canada and our dentists have always only used very bright overhead lights. I personally don't think that I would like a dentist to use a loupe, because that might make them liable to treat things far too early, or treat things that don't need to be dealt with at all.
I’m also in Canada and one of my previous hygienist and dentist would occasionally use loupes. One of the reasons for a dentist, or hygienist, to use loupes is in fact to minimize the slouching when treating patients and the related pain or discomfort.
Thanks for your replies and thoughts about this. I have come to Ireland from Canada.
Another difference with my new dentist (as well as with another dental clinic that I considered going to here), is that neither one of them wanted to be sent my previous dental records and x-rays from my previous dentist, but wanted to 'start fresh', which seems different than the procedure in North America.
I had a set of routine x-rays done within the last 6 months, but these were done again at my new dentist here.
Any thoughts about this would be very helpful.
 
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geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
497
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
For the X-rays it seems to be depending on the dentist’s preference. I went to an endodontist a few years ago and on their form for new patients they mention they always take a new series of X-rays in their office. I think there is also a question of the different privacy laws which might make the dental offices prefer to take the easier route of taking a new set of X-rays.
 
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careforteeth

Junior member
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
7
Location
North America
@geos Thanks for your helpful thoughts about this, this approach of starting fresh with x-rays now makes more sense.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,740
On the subject of loupes, it sort of depends on the procedure I guess? Presumably, they're not much use for making dentures, but for anything that involves fine precision work, I'd much prefer a dentist who uses loupes ?.

I don't think that using loupes has any impact on treating things too early or overtreatment. IMO, that's much more down to the dentist's overall philosophy than anything else (a minimally invasive/preventative approach vs. a more aggressive approach to dental treatment).

From what I've read, loupes have taken off far more slowly in the UK and Ireland than in the US, maybe because dental students have been expected to use them for a long time as part of their undergraduate training in the US, where the cost of loupes would be a drop in the ocean compared to the fees. Whereas in the UK and Ireland, students would not have been expected to be able to afford them. But the tide seems to be changing and it's now very common for students in the UK (and presumably Ireland) to use loupes.

The impression I get is that among dentists who have been qualified for a long time, those who have a keen interest in dentistry (rather than the "a monkey could do this job" types) are more likely to sport loupes than others ?. So for that reason alone, I'd be inclined to seek out a dentist who does use them. It's so hard for a layperson to figure out if a dentist is any good, and loupes are one of the few objective markers that someone takes pride in their work.

Just my opinion!
 
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