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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An investigation in the prevalence of co-axial misalignment of surgical loupes amongst BC dental professionals Wen, Wen Maggie


Dental surgical loupes have been increasingly popular among dental professionals over the last decade for their visual and postural benefits. In the province of British Columbia, over 60% of dental clinicians practice with surgical loupes and many dental educational institutions have made surgical loupes mandatory for all pre-clinical and clinical students. However, dental professionals will only receive the full benefits of surgical loupes if the loupes are adjusted to fit the individual needs of each clinician. This study examines the co-axial alignment of surgical loupes, one of the three critical criteria for the proper adjustment of these optical systems. A simple quantitative co-axial alignment measurement tool was first developed and then tested for reliability and repeatability. The researcher then measured co-axial alignment of surgical loupes among 97 practicing dental professionals in British Columbia and 23 UBC Dentistry students who currently practice with surgical loupes. The participants were also asked to complete a survey on clinical practice patterns. The results demonstrated that 1) there is a high prevalence (82.5%) of co-axial misalignment of surgical loupes among dental professionals surveyed; 2) dental professionals wearing Front-lens Mounted surgical loupes with full vertical adjustability (FLM w/FVA), Front-lens Mounted surgical loupes with limited adjustability (FLM w/LVA) and Through-the-Lens (TTL) surgical loupes are equally likely to be out of co-axial alignment; 3) FLM w/ FVA are the only loupes that can be adjusted to achieve full co-axial alignment and 4) dental professionals’ perception of their own visual acuity and quality of care are the same for dental professionals using aligned surgical loupes and for those using misaligned surgical loupes. The results from this study establishes a solid foundation for larger-scale studies in the field of surgical magnification and helps the dental communities make informed decisions about their equipment, and will guide surgical loupes manufacturers to develop more evidence-based products.

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