Photo of Dr. Edie Gibson RDH

Testimonial – Dr. Edie Gibson, RDH

How SurgiTel Custom FLM Loupes Can Save Your Hygiene Career

Edie Gibson, RDH, BSDH, MSc, MAADH

Edie is a best-selling author, trainer, and speaker whose seminars include “Making Ergonomics Work for YOU! Innovative Technologies to Reduce Occupational Pain”
To have Edie speak at your next event, contact her by phone or e-mail.

When I was in 3rd grade, I decided I was going to be a dental hygienist and change the world! When I was 15, I worked for 4 years as a dental assistant while waiting to get into Ferris State University’s (FSU) dental hygiene program. I graduated from FSU in 1985 with a fire in my belly and worked six days a week as a clinical hygienist. I still remember my brutal schedule: two 8 hour days, two 9 hour days, and two 12 hour days. I just about killed my body, but I loved my work! I felt invincible. Twenty-eight years of clinical hygiene later, my body convinced me I was not! In 2009 I required extensive spinal surgery which ended my clinical career. If I had known about the ergonomic benefits of loupes from the start of my career, I am convinced I would still be practicing dental hygiene.

We were not taught about magnification loupes in hygiene school back in the early ’80s, (I see the heads nodding as you read this!) I really did not know what I was missing. I wore prescription glasses so thought I was all set. Little did I know! I was first exposed to loupes and illumination from, ironically, my former college professor and mentor Linda Meeuwenberg in 2002. I was speaking at a conference with her in Mackinaw Island, MI. She was speaking on ergonomics and spoke at great length about the benefits of loupes for a hygienist. I was sold! I purchased my first pair of loupes that day, along with a headlamp and ergonomic stool. Those loupes changed the way I practiced. I finally found myself sitting comfortably, not straining or cranking my head and neck to see. I had less pain in my neck, shoulders, and back at the end of each day. They made me a better hygienist. Those were SurgiTel customizable Front-Lens-Mounted (FLM) Loupes. If I had only known about them from the very beginning of my career, I could still be practicing the profession that I love!

I have tried several other types of loupes from several different companies but none worked better or fit me as well as SurgiTel’s. The customizable declination angle of SurgiTel FLM loupes which can be optimized for maximum comfort was, and IS, unrivaled. In 2009, I started to have extreme pain and numbness in my right arm and hand as well as my neck. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, foraminal stenosis, and bone spurs protruding into my spine and immediately underwent spinal surgery. Unable to practice clinically any longer, I expanded my speaking career to include ergonomics and now talk about it in every program I present, from dental implants to substance abuse!

If you want to prolong your career and practice pain-free and with joy, I strongly encourage you to invest in loupes to save your spine! Find the loupe that works for you and GO FOR IT! Do not wait for your boss to buy them for you. Take charge of your career and invest in yourself! Your health is WORTH IT!

Edie Gibson, RDH, BSDH, MSc, MAADH