Magnification for beginners (Part 1) - Dr. Ridhima Uppal

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Magnification for beginners (Part 1) - Dr. Ridhima Uppal


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Magnification systems increase clinician's precision, improve ergonomics, and increase work efficiency (Photo: Canva)
Dr. Ridhima Uppal

By Dr. Ridhima Uppal

Thu. 4 November 2021


State of the art dentistry is all about providing atraumatic and minimally invasive dental treatments to the patients, while improving the clinician's precision and efficiency. The first article of this 2-part series by Dr. Ridhima Uppal outlines the most essential concepts needed for beginners who are planning to incorporate magnification systems in their practice.

Upgrading our daily practice with a magnification system helps increase the clinician's precision in work as it not only provides a corrective and a magnified vision but also improves the ergonomics, thus increasing the work efficiency (Figure 1a & 1b).

Two types of magnification systems (Figure 2) are in use- 

a) Magnification loupes- most commonly used

b) Dental operating microscope.

Magnification loupes work at a magnification of 2.5x-4x, where two monocular microscopes with side-by-side lenses are angled to focus on an object (Keplerian optics, Figure 3).

Being portable in nature, the loupes have an added advantage over a surgical operating microscope. But at the same time, loupes could result in eye fatigue as they cause converging of the eyes to view an image. The surgical microscope is however a complicated system of lenses that allows binocular viewing (Galilean optics, Figure 4) at a magnification of approximately 5x to 40x. Microscopes offer a powerful co-axial illumination with a higher magnification power over telescopic loupes.

Adapting to a magnification system is a steep learning curve and one should start with a pair of magnifying loupes thereupon strengthening the clinical skills. 

Having an aided visual guidance gives an edge to enhance one’s fine motor skills that translate into minimal surgical trauma and smaller surgical field allowing better primary wound closure and consequently a rapid, comfortable, less painful, and non-inflammatory healing phase are some of the many advantages provided while using a magnification system. 

The clinicians having been exposed to binoculars and cameras understand magnification as only a means of enhanced vision. But there is much more to what the eyes can see!

The perception of improved hand skills with the use of magnification has not yet been appreciated. The improved ergonomics benefit the clinician in avoiding musculoskeletal problems and reduced eye fatigue. Adding to all these benefits, a magnification system is a strong tool for patient education and motivation and for self-evaluation of one's own work thus helping in improving the quality of day-to-day practice. 

'' I can do better; if  I can see better; but  I can do the best if I can see even better''

Author: Dr. Ridhima Uppal

Dr. Ridhima is pursuing her Master of Dental surgery in Periodontology from SGT University,
Gurugram, Haryana. (05/2019 - 05/2022)

She has done her Fellowship in Contemporary Endodontics from DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.

She completed her BDS from Bhojia Dental College & Hospital, Shimla, after which she was into private practice for a while before starting her higher education in Endodontics & Periodontics.

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