ErgoPractice News – March 2019
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from Cologne, Germany
From March 12 to 16, 2019 SurgiTel exhibited at the 38th International Dental Show (IDS), the greatest dental show on earth, located in Cologne, Germany. This year, the show attracted 118,000 visitors and 1,954 exhibitors from 58 countries.
During our exhibit, we demonstrated advances made with our vision-aid products such as ergonomic loupes, LED light systems, and loupe-mounted HD cameras to distributors and other visitors. Over these five days, we met with countless clinicians from around the world and noticed striking similarities when it comes to questions that clinicians frequently find themselves thinking when they are ready to purchase loupes. One of our visitors who left a lasting impact on our team was a clinician from Belgium. He shared with us that he had been experiencing pain due to practicing with a non-ergonomic pair of loupes that he purchased several years ago. We discussed how SurgiTel’s truly ergonomic loupes can help users practice without stress or strain on the neck and back, allowing users to have a pain-free, healthy, and long-lasting career.
There are numerous companies selling loupes claiming them as ergonomic. This makes choosing the right brand very confusing and overwhelming. We have found that most people do not know how to find truly ergonomic loupes. With that in mind, we have collected the most frequently asked questions and provided answers so that we may help clinicians make an educated loupe purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Q: “What makes SurgiTel the best choice for Ergonomic Practice?”
- SurgiTel began from an optics company, General Scientific Corporation (GSC). In the early 90s GSC started manufacturing loupes under the SurgiTel name on a mission to provide practicing clinicians and students with completely ergonomic vision aids to serve as a long-term solution to ergonomic issues. Today, SurgiTel is proud to be the only loupe company in the world providing top quality optics in custom-fit and completely ergonomic loupes that support your back and keep your neck safe in the neutral position.Recently, SurgiTel has introduced several innovative products including light-weight wireless LED lights, and patent-pending Ergo-Fit Nose Pad Systems which can fit all nose types such as African, Asian, Middle-Eastern, European, etc. These patent-pending nose pad systems not only make loupes feel lighter but also eliminate eyelash and fogging issues. SurgiTel’s patented technologies for assembling ergonomic loupes with steep declination angles allows us to provide all clinicians with truly ergonomic loupes.
Q: “I was told my loupes are ergonomic…”
- Most loupe companies claim their loupes are ergonomic because they do alleviate and/or prevent pain in the lower back. However, they are not fully ergonomic because those loupes force users to excessively tilt their head/neck forward to an unsafe position and become the main cause for chronic neck pain and injuries.As mentioned in the January 2018 issue of ErgoPractice News, MultiPoint ErgonomicsTM Loupes: Prevent BOTH Back and Neck Pain, “ergonomics” has become a commonly misused term used as a way to sell. Any pair of loupes can reduce lower back pain but traditionally designed loupes force users to tilt their head/neck too far which leads to eventual chronic pain and career-ending injury.In 1993, SurgiTel released its first truly ergonomic pair of front-lens-mounted (FLM) loupes which not only helps keep your back in a neutral posture but also keeps your neck at a safe posture as well. These loupes allow the wearer to work comfortably and safely while minimizing stress, strain, and injury to the lower back, shoulder/upper back, and neck. Following this solution, we have recently developed MultiPoint ErgonomicsTM and continue to implement this solution into through-the-lens (TTL) loupes in efforts to help clinicians practice without pain.
Q: “How can I make sure I’m purchasing truly ergonomic loupes?”
- Finding truly ergonomic loupes isn’t always easy. False declination angle claims have been used to sell loupes, but measuring true declination angle is not easy. The angle between temple arms and the axis of loupe optics is not the true declination angle. If the temple arms are attached to the top of lens frames, the declination angle appears larger than the true declination angle (Figure 2).Because of this, we suggest using the head/neck tilt angle with loupes as the key, ergonomic performance metric. A safe head/neck tilt angle is less than 25 degrees. We can easily estimate the head/neck tilt angle by comparing two side view photos: one side view photo of neutral head/neck posture and another side view photo of actual working posture wearing loupes.1, 2 We are always accepting posture photos (neutral posture and actual working posture) via email. We can find your head tilt angle using a computer system and offer suggestions on how to improve your posture (contact: ErgoNews@SurgiTel.com).
Q: “Which magnification should I be using?”
- There were countless loupe companies at IDS reselling non-custom 2.5x loupes. Clinicians have told us that these companies said nothing over 2.5x was necessary. These clinicians were surprised to try on our loupes and find magnifications such as 3.5x and 4.5x can be lightweight, easy to use, and provide a far superior, magnified image.SurgiTel proudly offers a multitude of magnification options from 2.5x to 8.0x. SurgiTel recognizes that magnification options must be plentiful in order to accommodate all specialties and practices. SurgiTel carries a large range of magnification options in order to perfectly pair magnification with a very important deciding factor, the specific clinician’s
working distance.It is very important to consider your working distance when choosing a magnification. For instance, imagine looking at a target at 15 inches and again at 18 inches. At 15 inches the target will seem larger and will allow for more details to be seen. At 18 inches the target is farther away, this makes the target appear smaller and allows for less details to be seen. The same effect applies to magnification levels. You can see the target at 15 inches 36% better in area size than at 18 inches. This is called the working distance effect. This is why it is very important to consider your working distance when choosing a magnification.
Q: “What determines the quality of an LED?”
- There is a common misconception that the brightest LED is the best quality LED. This, however, could not be more wrong. While a minimum brightness is required, lights that are too bright can cause eye strain and wash out images. Some clinicians may believe their light is not bright enough because their image appears unclear. “Turning up” brightness on a low-quality light will only decrease the image quality even more. It is important to keep in mind that true image quality comes from a clear and uniform beam such as SurgiTel’s LEDs.
Q: “What is better? A wireless LED or one with a cord?”
- There is no right or wrong option, this is completely up to the user’s preference. Our standard LEDs have a longer battery life and are more light-weight. Our wireless LEDs offer the convenience of not being tethered and having to look out for cords. SurgiTel offers both options.
Q: “Why so much?”
- Loupe exhibitors at IDS are able to offer less costly loupes but not without skimping out on the most important components of loupes. Those low-cost loupes are not fully ergonomic, not custom made, only available at 2.5x/low power magnification, and are acquired from overseas only to be resold by providers and dealers.
SurgiTel loupes are built to last, built to your specifications, and built to make sure you can continue working without pain.
Our case of the Belgian clinician ends on a happy note, together we discussed his working habits and working posture and came to the conclusion he would benefit from custom, ergonomic loupes and he left having placed an order. The SurgiTel team enjoyed our time at IDS and was happy to continue helping clinicians who are working in pain and desperately
Buying the correct loupes can be overwhelming. If someone you know is living with working pain in their neck and back, uses poor magnification or lighting, please forward this article to them so they can start working pain-free!
Contact your local rep today for an in-office demonstration! Find a Rep or 1-800-959-0153