Photo of Dr. Bethany Valachi

Testimonial – Dr. Bethany Valachi

How SurgiTel Helps My Clients Prevent Pain and Extend Their Careers

Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS

Bethany lectures internationally on dental ergonomics and is the author of the book “Practice Dentistry Pain-free: Evidence-based Strategies to Prevent Pain and Extend Your Career”

I am a physical therapist who teaches dental ergonomics at OHSU School of Dentistry and provides one-on-one consultations to dental team members throughout North America & Europe. Over the course of 15 years, I have videotaped, measured, and analyzed hundreds of head and body postures of practicing dental team members and dental/hygiene students. Many of these individuals were considering leaving the practice of dentistry due to severe work-related pain, and a number of students had already developed pain by their second year!

I have found that loupes profoundly influence the musculoskeletal health of the dental practitioner and, in my opinion, ergonomic loupes should not be an option, but mandatory in dental & hygiene schools. Unfortunately, I have also found that a majority of the loupes on the market (mostly TTL styles) are NOT ergonomic and place the operator in an unsafe forward head posture (greater than 20-degrees forward).

In my international dental consultations, I have consistently found is that if the declination angle of the loupes is not steep enough, it forces the operator’s head forward and places them at risk for serious neck pain and injury. To further complicate matters, the declination angle of a loupe can be fantastic, but if the scope sits too high in relation to the operator’s eye, it also forces them to have to lean forward to see through the loupes. It saddens and frustrates me to walk into dental schools and repeatedly see a majority of the students with Through-The-Lens (TTL) loupes working in hunched postures!! Many of these students will eventually call me when they have sustained a herniated cervical disk, only to find that they could have prevented it with well-designed ergonomic loupes, such as the SurgiTel flip-up loupes.
The SurgiTel flip-up, or Front-Lens-Mounted (FLM), loupes are one of the few (if not the only?) loupes on the market today that offers a great declination angle AND vertical adjustability to allow the operator to maintain a safe head posture. If I could make only one ergonomic recommendation to the dental profession, it would be: Invest in a pair of SurgiTel flip-up loupes. In post-consultation follow-ups, I have had dentists and hygienists report to me that their neck or back pain is ‘completely gone’ after they purchased a pair of SurgiTel flip-up loupes. SurgiTel has gone the extra mile and done the research to create a product that preserves the musculoskeletal health of the dental professional. As a physical therapist, I cannot say enough ‘kudos’ to them!

Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS
Portland Oregon

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  1. […] like the person on the left below, if they are tilting their head more than 20 degrees forward (Valachi), they are bound for trouble and need a loupe […]

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