We are in the midst of orientation, selecting our first pair of loupes! As a piece of eyewear, loupes (pronounced ‘loops’) protect our eyes from potentially hazardous substances, such as flying tooth particles and foreign bodies and fluids. What differentiates loupes from safety goggles is that they also magnify. Thus, loupes serve two main purposes — to protect and to magnify.
Loupes benefit both dentists and patients. Loupes help patients by allowing their dentist can more accurately remove small pieces of plaque or drill into a tooth with greater nuance, which may be difficult to do with the naked eye. Loupes also help dentists, who no longer need to bend their backs, crane their necks, and strain their eyes in order to focus on the providing their patient with the best care possible. This improvement in posture can translate into more productive work hours and years, thereby allowing dentists to serve more patients with greater quality care.
- Magnification (2.0x, 2.5x, 3.0x, etc.)
- Field of view (How large of an area must you be able to see?)
- Depth of field (Is your subject in focus even when you’re working at various depths?)
- Working distance (How far are you from your patient?)
- Warranties (In case of drops, prescription changes, etc.)
I most heavily considered comfort when deciding among loupes. As someone with a low nose bridge and high cheekbones, I needed to ensure that the loupes could rest comfortably on my nose without sitting on my cheeks. A durable and light frame, even with the light added, was also important to me, as heavy loupes can be irritating when worn for hours on end. Additionally, I wanted to find a pair of loupes with a convenient method of adding/removing a prescription lens, as I switch between contact lenses and glasses.
In the end, my favorite was a pair of Q-Optics Eclipse TTL 3.0x loupes. The loupes are specifically designed for your face by their trademarked True-Fit technology system. The Through-The-Lens (TTL) style also reduces some weight compared to flip-up loupes, and Q-Optics has a built-in option for people who need to clip-in prescription lenses. The wired LED light on top is also easily adjustable, and the titanium frame (that I enjoyed) has a lifetime warranty.