Finding The Right Surgical And Dental Loupes

Are you trying to select the right pair of surgical and dental loupes for your medical setting? This post will help you better understand these loupes and a few guidelines to follow when selecting the right pair for you.

It’s common for dentists and surgeons to wear loupes throughout a procedure or exam that requires a close view. Surgical and dental loupes will allow the physician or dentist to better see inside a patient’s mouth or body part while having both hands free. The following are four important factors to consider when selecting the right pair of surgical or dental loupes.

1. Working Distance
It is important to determine your correct working distance. Working distance is the space between the eyes and the work area. It is recommended to measure the working distance in the actual setting you will be using the loupes in. It’s important to keep your back straight, head only slightly dipped so you’re viewing the specific area and your feet should be flat on the floor. You can then simply measure (with a measuring tape) from the bridge of your nose to the specific area you will be working on. One of the most common problems in many clinical applications is that the working distance is measured too short, resulting in unnecessary neck strain.

2. Depth of Field
After measuring the working distance, it is important to understand how the depth of field works. The depth of the field is the visible range in focus offered by the loupe. For example, a pair of loupes has a distance of 18 inches and a depth of 5.5 inches. This means that your pair of loupes will stay in focus in a distance of 15.25 inches to 20.75 inches or 2.75 inches on both sides of the working distance range.

3. Field of View


The field of view is simply the working space you are able to visibly see through your loupes. It is important to note that the working distance and field of view go hand in hand. For example, a longer working distance will equate to a larger field of view.

4. Magnification
When looking through a pair of loupes, the size of the image depends on the magnification. A higher magnification amount results in a larger image, but reduces the depth of field and field of view. Typically the level of magnification depends on the preference of the person wearing the loupe. In dentistry, it is common to find 2.5x – 3.5x magnification on dental loupes.

It’s important to identify and understand these factors before selecting your surgical and dental loupes. Be sure to check out our Selecting Dental Loupes video below for additional information. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

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