Dentistry has undergone many advances in the last 50 years. One of the most significant aspects of its advance can be attributed to the use of magnification and additional light sources. When I started practicing nearly 26 years ago, the number of practitioners using magnification loops was small. When I started using magnification loops with a light source during dental procedures, I used to get a lot of questions from my patients about this apparatus. I would usually respond the same way, “you can not fix what you can not see”. The resulting enhanced vision helped me improve the diagnosis and precision of treatment. It also helped improve outcomes and healing. Over the last 25 years, I have come to see a large number of my colleagues start to use magnification loops as well, though some with an additional light source and some without. At this time at Braeside Dental Centre, both dentists and all of the hygienists use some form of magnification, and an additional light source, to aid treatment.
Recently, our office purchased a dental microscope. This microscope has many added features, and in my opinion, is the next step in the evolution of providing better care for our patients. While the magnification loops that I have used for the last 25 years can provide magnification from around 2x to 4.5x, microscopes bring that range to 3x to 24x. This is a significant leap! With this higher resolution, larger depth of field, and better illumination, the dental microscope is enhancing outcomes with its’ increased precision. Sometimes, this can be the difference between successful and unsuccessful treatment. It also can be the difference between a patient experiencing some slight postoperative discomfort and a patient experiencing significant postoperative pain. At this time, we are using this Global microscope with all root canal procedures. In time, we will be extending its’ use to other dental treatments.
Just as magnification loops were not common 25 years ago, but are becoming much more common today, I feel that the level of care capable of being provided will be enhanced by increased use of dental microscopes in the near future. I enjoy providing the highest quality of care that I can, and I believe that the dental microscope will help me achieve that goal and raise our standard.