Testimonial – Wendy Reimer, RDH

A Healing Journey

Wendy Reimer, RDH

“I have been using Through-The-Lens (TTL) loupes for a few years and have had various frustrating issues with them. The initial reason for investing in loupes was because I was in two front-end car collisions, and one rear-end collision within a year of each other. Previously, I had been working without loupes in my dental hygiene practice but now with the neck pain from whiplash, I dreaded working because I could barely handle the pain.

I felt that having loupes would really benefit my head and neck alignment and give me a proper ergonomic foundation.

The treatment modalities to aid in my recovery from the car accidents were that of a chiropractor, a physiotherapist, and a massage therapist. I started looking into loupes and was fitted at a yearly dental convention, but they just sat me down with a typodont in front of me while using a folding chair to try and simulate what it would be like in my operatory. There were some variables that I felt were not taken into consideration. So, I bought TTL loupes but still had issues with them and my neck pain had not decreased. Frustrated and needing help, I attended online ergonomic webinars to help me achieve additional answers on how to practice pain-free.

I reached out to SurgiTel and spoke with Dr. Jin Chang who was very professional and helpful. I told him of the car accidents and neck issues, and he suggested contacting Dr. Bethany Valachi to make sure that I was equipped with everything I needed before ordering and deciding on my loupes.

I had a virtual coaching session with Dr. Bethany Valachi in my operatory. This appointment was so very helpful as she is an ergonomic specialist in the dental field and made a proper assessment of exactly what I personally needed to practice pain-free in dentistry.

Dr. Bethany Valachi recommended SurgiTel Front-Lens-Mounted (FLM) loupes as they can achieve a steeper declination angle than the 3.0x TTL loupes, so my neck can stay in proper alignment. It also benefits me because I have the option to change the prescription locally at a lesser cost.

Dr. Bethany Valachi walked me through how to properly measure my working distance and target endurance training exercises to help my posture and strengthen stabilizing muscles. She also discussed chairs and armrests to help reduce stress on my neck, shoulders, and back.

When I first received my SurgiTel EVK 350 prism FLM loupes, I was so excited to try them out. I was impressed with how clearly I could see the whole mouth, not just a few teeth or a quadrant, with no issues. Even mounting the SurgiTel Eclipse light onto the FLM loupes was easy and I was able to work with no complications. Just as a side note, I have been using the neutral light as I do not want any damage to my retina, as blue light is capable of doing. I have been very happy with this light choice as it has provided me with great illumination coverage.

The FLM loupes have been very helpful as I find it has truly lessened my neck pain. When using my TTL loupes, usually after a day of work I would leave feeling like I needed to see a massage therapist immediately! But now, with using the FLM prism loupes, I can go home without such terrible neck pain. The neurologist I saw said it is not uncommon to experience pain for many years after whiplash injuries.

The 3.5x magnification is excellent and I can see clearly with great detail. As a dental hygienist, I find that I would not go back to a 2.5x or 3x as the SurgiTel 350 prism loupe is high quality and enhances the visual field. The detail you see is fantastic with a large visual field. I highly recommend my fellow dental hygienists to enhance their physical health and lengthen their careers by investing in the EVK350 prism FLM loupes from SurgiTel. Since the FLM loupes can be adjusted to suit your personal needs, it is of more benefit to the practitioner as it can deliver a steeper declination angle than TLL loupes. This steeper declination angle decreases neck pain and keeps your head and neck posture straight so that you can extend the life of your career. Another benefit you have is the option of adjusting the declination angle yourself and changing out your lens when your prescription changes.

I would also encourage the dental community to do the stretches that Dr. Bethany Valachi recommends in her videos as she targets the correct muscle groups to strengthen and help counterbalance the muscles that dental professionals have been flexing all day at work. The care and customer service that I have received from SurgiTel was so exceptional. They really go above and beyond to help their clients achieve a pain-free career. I would not trust anyone else.


Wendy Reimer, RDH