Friday, November 11, 2011

Why LIghting is *So* Important...

For some time now I've been evangelizing on the need for magnification to do better dentistry.  A "not so old survey" from Dental Products Report gave us the information that only about 50% of doctors are currently using surgical telescopes.  Personally I wish that number were 99.9%


A few years ago I made the jump to 4.8x and I can't even begin to imagine what my treatment would be without it.  My Orascoptic 4.8x telescopes go around my neck the moment I start my clinical day and they dont' come off until the last patient has left the office.  They are as important to my treatment as my brain... since they provide a staggering amount of visual data that flat out helps me be a better doctor.


However, just as important as the telescopes is the use of auxiliary lighting.  I have amazingly light and powerful lights that attach to the telescopes and provide illumination to the field that one can't begin to envision using only a standard track-light.  Bright, compact, and following my every movement... an LED on the end of your nose will change your posture and what you can see.


Today is a prime example of this.  I do all of my own endo, and today we were treating a case on tooth #19 (FDI 36) and it was through a porcelain fused to metal crown.  Illumination was at a premium due to the metal sub-structure and the fact that the canals were severely sclerotic added to the difficulty.  The pulp chamber had been obliterated by sclerotic dentin and the canals had receded into the roots making the location part of the access much more challenging.


However, in these types of cases, good optics can greatly decrease the stress level and greatly increase the quality of care as well as the outcome.  I normally wear my 4.8x with the Orascoptic Freedom LED system that has an output of 4000 foot candles.  However, today as I began to look for canal orifices deeper than I was initially anticipating, I switched to my 4.8x with the Orascoptic Zeon Discovery.  This LED has over 7000 foot candles of brightness and made a significant improvement in lighting deep into the access.


We combined this with the LaboMed surgical microscope with an amazing Zeon light source.  The LaboMed microscope performs well, but is designed for a general practice and comes with a significantly lower price tag than models designed exclusively for use in a specialist's office.


When pairing these 2 technologies in the same appointment and procedure allowed me to locate the canals which might very well have gone undetected using conventional techniques.  If you are not currently using magnification & auxiliary lighting, you owe it to yourself and to your patients to explore this amazing realm.  I'm confident that you'll be glad you did.

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