Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Magnification and Auxiliary Lighting

Recently I've been amazed at the feedback I've received from lecture audiences about magnification. I'm seeing there is a great deal of interest in the subject, but also a great deal of misunderstanding. Hopefully this post will help clear some things up.

For starters, magnification is not a luxury it is a must. In order to provide the best care possible, you must be able to see the field as clearly as possible.

Many people start out at a very low level of magnification (I know I did) and then think they will generally end up a little higher. My initial plan was to start at 2.6x (which I did) and I wanted to end up at 3.5 to 3.75x. This sounds like a good plan, but what I've discovered is that once you start to appreciate the benefits of working under high power surgical telescopes, you won't really want to stop in the 3x range.

Instead, I made the jump from 2.6 flip ups to 4.8 TTL and have never been happier. I do all my dentistry through 4.8x (even hygiene exams).

One other thing to take into consideration is auxiliary lighting. As you increase in magnification, the amount of light that enters the telescopes decreases. This means the higher the magnification, the more lighting becomes a necessity. Today all manufacturers make some type of LED and I am a big fan of these. They are portable and do not tether you to a cable. They are also much less expensive.

As the spring show season starts into full swing, go by a booth and check out the latest offerings from the surgical telescope manufacturers. You'll be glad you did.

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