Getting To Know Dental Loupes

dentist wearing dental loupes

When we visit a dental office, we often notice our dentist or hygienist wearing a seemingly weird device on their eyes. It looked like a binocular, making us wonder even more what they are used for. In the first place, we wonder what this instrument is called.

The weird-looking, binocular-like device our dentist or hygienist is wearing is called a dental loupe. Generally, a loupe is a small tool used to magnify or see details more closely. Compared to a magnifying glass, a loupe does not have a handle attached to it.


What features do dental loupes have?

There are varying types and brand of dental loupes. Here’s are some features that can be found in dental loupes:

  • A set of glasses (with prescription, if necessary)
  • Galilean or prism view which allows different field views
  • High magnification
  • A headlight
  • Custom-fitted for the dentist
  • High-resolution
  • Easy-to-operate
  • Lightweight
  • Can be flipped

What are the uses and importance of dental loupes?

Dental loupes are necessary for Dentistry. With the help of dental loupes, Dentist Honolulu can see the mouth and its parts clearly as they are magnified, ensuring that the procedure is done with accuracy and precision.

The inside of the mouth can also be dark, thus a dental loupe, having a flashlight attached to it, can shine a bit of light on the mouth and see the area well.

Cavities and other abnormalities of the oral cavity especially those unseen by the naked eye or are only beginning to develop can be detected with the help of dental loupes. Through this, early detection is a possible and immediate treatment to address the dental problem is done before the issue escalates.

Dental loupes also allow appropriate space between the dentist and the patient’s mouth. Using the device, dentists need not lean too close to see the inside of the mouth. Also, since dental loupes magnify the area, dentists have no choice but to move a bit away from the patient’s mouth, saving both from an uncomfortable encounter due to the proximity.

Dentists often need to bend their neck over to see the patient’s teeth, leading to 60 to 80 percent of dental professionals to suffer neck and back pain. Dental loupes lessen the bending.

With the use mentioned above and importance of dental loupes, the magnifying device benefits both the dentist and the patient.

Specific Tasks Where Dental Loupes Are Great For

  • Detect and fill a cavity-infected tooth
  • Look for tartar or calculus to remove
  • Flossing between the teeth
  • Root canal procedure
  • Checking a cracked tooth
  • Cleaning the gum line
  • Checking problems inside the mouth like areas requiring extra care, early signs of gum disease, discoloration of the teeth, oral sores, or abnormal patched on the gums and cheeks

Although not all dentist or dental professional subscribe to the use of dental loupes in their practice, the magnifying device is recommended to increase precision and avoid mistakes especially since the oral cavity is a sensitive region of the body. With dental loupes, procedures can be done more accurately, and details can be seen more clearly.

What Everybody Ought To Know About Dental Impressions

Dental treatments like crowns, bridges, and orthodontic treatments such as dental braces and Invisalign involve specific procedures to be completed.

A dental check-up and a consultation with your dentist are needed to identify the problem and craft the best treatment plan suitable for your needs and other considerations.

dentist conducting dental impressions

A dental X-ray may also follow depending on your case and the oral-related issue, as well as the needed treatment. And often, the first phase of a dental procedure will include taking dental impressions.


What is a dental impression?

A dental impression is a negative impress of the teeth, gums, surrounding tissues, and other components of the oral cavity.

Using the impression taken, a three-dimensional representation is created which in turn is used for different purposes including orthodontics, prosthodontics, maxillofacial prosthetics, dental crowns, dental bridges, and surgery on the mouth, face, or jaw.

A dental impression is also utilized for identification of oral diseases, mouth protector, trays for teeth whitening, and as a permanent record, or a documentation of a treatment process.


What are the different types of a dental impression?

A dental impression may be classified into three main types — preliminary, final, and bite registration.

Primary impressions are often used to create replicas for the documentation or dental arches, diagnosis, and to aid in dental education. On the one hand, final impressions are used in the creation of dies and casts which are used to construct bridges, crowns, dental prosthesis, and other dental repairs.

Bite registrations record the occlusal connection between dental arches. These registrations are necessary when establishing articulation of the lower and upper jaw.


What is used in making a dental impression?

Alginate, an irreversible hydrocolloid and a naturally-occurring polymer, is often used in creating dental impressions.

Alginate is a biomaterial made of brown seaweed and has been widely used in engineering and biomedical science because of its biocompatibility.


What is an impression tray?

To create an impression, an impression tray is needed to act as a container where the impression liquid is positioned. Once the material is on the tray, it will be set into the mouth.

An impression tray can be made of metal, plastic, or disposable Styrofoam in different sizes and for different areas of the mouth. It can also be drilled with a hole or holes.

How is a dental impression made?

First, the impression material will be poured into the tray which will be inserted into the mouth and placed onto the upper or lower teeth.

When the material has turned into a solid rubber mass, the tray will be taken out of the mouth.

Finally, the impression will be forwarded to a dental laboratory to be processed.


Dental impressions make me gag. Are there other options?

Dental hygienists Margaret Walsh and Michele Leonardi Darby have stipulated some guidelines for dentists and dental hygienists to follow to reduce gagging during dental impression taking in their work Dental Hygiene: Theory and Practice.

The guidelines include:

  • When taking a dental impression, keep the impression matter at a considerable distance from the tongue’s posterior third because this is where the gagging reflex is situated.
  • Direct the material’s flow at a distance from the soft palate.
  • Contain the impression material using a wax dam.
  • Avoid overfilling the impression tray.
  • When inserting the tray, make sure the patient is in a vertical position, head bent frontward with the chin leaning down.
  • Make patients do slow and deep breaths via their noses.

Aside from these guidelines, you can actually skip all the hassle of taking dental impressions that make you gag through digital impression system.

A digital impression system creates dental impressions using digital technology or computer. Several images of the area are taken using an intraoral scanner installed on the system which will then create a three-dimensional reproduction of the teeth or mouth.

The final image is e-mailed to a technician for the preparation of the cast and then sent to a laboratory which will generate the final model.


Aside from saving me from gagging, what are the other pros of a digital impression system?

A digital impression system saves you from extended dental visits and also reduced the error linked to traditional dental impressions.

Through this system, one-day dental procedures have become possible.

Get Your Dental Crown In One Day With CAD/CAM Technology

When you crack or chip your tooth, or wants to improve your discolored and weak tooth, your dentist may recommend treatments such as getting a dental crown.


What is a dental crown?

A type of dental restoration, a dental crown is placed over a tooth to cap or encircle the visible regions of the tooth which lies at and above the gum line.

A dental crown is used to shelter a weak tooth, restore a broken or’ damaged tooth, act as a support for a tooth with a large filling, preserve a dental bridge, cap a misshaped or discolored tooth or a dental implant.

Dental crowns can be produced from stainless steel, gold, porcelain, or resin. Among children, stainless steel crowns are considered the best choice, while gold or platinum-made crowns are more sturdy and can endure the biting and chewing pressure better than other types.


How is a dental crown procedure done?

The procedure usually takes two dental visits to be completed as it is divided into two phases — the check-up and preparation, and placement.

During your first visit, a check-up and X-ray are done. Other treatments may also be conducted depending on the condition of your teeth. If your tooth is extremely decayed, additional treatments may be done to ensure that the tooth is suitable for a dental crown procedure.

After an examination, an impression of the tooth is created. After two to three weeks, the crown will be available. During those weeks, a temporary crown will be placed over your prepared tooth to cover and protect it.

The second visit will be the placement of the crown.


I’m busy. Is there a faster way to get a crown?

Fortunately, Dentistry has improved that treatments and procedures which previously needed several dental visits and waiting periods can now be completed in one day with the help of CAD/CAM system.

CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design And Computer-Aided Manufacturing) Dentistry can complete dental procedures like digital impressions, full impressions, surgical guides, dentures, implant abutments, and orthodontic appliances.

The best thing about CAD/CAM system is it allowed same-day crowns, dentures, bridges, veneers, implants, among others because it readies the tooth and creates the restoration right in the dental office.


How does CAD/CAM work?

The system is made up of a computer system, milling unit, and a software. The computer system is composed of hardware for viewing and designing and a monitor, while the milling unit guides the machine involved in shaping the restoration. The software has the data or instructions processed by the computer system to produce the restoration,

When these three are put together, the patient can complete his or her treatment in a single visit and without needing to wear a temporary restoration.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of CAD/CAM system?

CAD/CAM system saves you time by only requiring a day of your time for an appointment. If taking dental impressions used to make you gag, you can finally say goodbye to the discomfort of impression-taking as CAD/CAM dentistry does not involve impression-taking that makes you gag.

There will be no provisional restorations, meaning no teeth sensitivity.

The drawback of this system is its cost, and despite involving only a single-day appointment, the appointment may take hours.