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Microscopic Dentistry

SCMC 5-6-2008  copyby Chris Edwards, DDS

May/June 2008

Camera attachment allows patient to see their dentist’s work – up close and personal

IMPROVED MAGNIFICATION aids in caries detection and the identification of fractures and abnormalities. In the reconstructive aspect, the enhanced magnification enables the dentist to assess decay removal and prepare conservative restorations, saving important tooth structure.

 

Microscopes have been used in general medicine in some form or the other since the ‘60s. Some Endodontists (root canal specialists) have been using microscopes in dentistry for the past 10 years. Endodontists work in a very restricted operating field, peering down long, dark roots of infected teeth. It has proved invaluable in uncovering difficult canals and root fractures.

Many dentists appreciate magnification and use magnifying loupes when working in the mouth. Loupes magnification is usually 2.5 to 4 power. A few high tech general dentists have begun using the microscope and for a very good reason. Success in dentistry is determined by visually looking in the mouth and seeing problems when they are small before they progress into trouble. Success is also determined by the skill of the dentist and how well he can repair the problems he finds.

The use of the microscope (2.1 to 19.2 magnification) provides unsurpassed visual acuity. The magnification and accompanying focused light, improves vision and allows observation of the operating field much better than magnifying loupes. It goes with out saying; if you can’t see the problem you can’t fi x it. In restorative work, it provides refinement in tooth and margin preparation, and allows for closer inspection of restorations and tissues. The improved lighting and magnification aids in caries detection and the identification of fractures and abnormalities.

In the reconstructive aspect, the enhanced magnification enables the dentist to assess decay removal and prepare conservative restorations, saving important tooth structure. It provides better inspection of impressions, and marginal fits around crowns, veneers, inlays/onlays and composite fillings. It facilitates finishing and polishing of margins, assists in gingival contouring and reshaping around teeth and implants. The use of hard and soft tissue lasers like the Waterlase MD, demand magnification for precision cutting and efficiency.

Microscopes have an attachment that allows a video or still camera to see what the dentist sees through the microscope. There is clear documentation of the work that was done or problems discovered. A brave or curious patient through the use of video can watch live what the dentist is doing.

When I first used the microscope I was surprised at how much more I could see, and I have just acquired my second one and will never do dentistry without it. I predict all dentists will be using the microscope in the future for one main reason – you can see better! To learn more about high tech dentistry go to www.smiledesigncenter.us

 

Dr. Edwards graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and Temple University School of Dentistry. He completed a general practice residency at the Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. To reach Dr. Edwards you may call 321-751-7775 or visit www.SDICFL.com