Improving Ergonomics With a Dental Microscope

Using Ergonomics to improve visualization, physical comfort and patient trust

Dr. Blanc using the M320 dental microscope with ultra-low binoculars M320_dental_microscope_with_ultra-low_binoculars.jpg

How can you improve precision, stability, and your physical comfort whilst performing long dental procedures?

Here, we show you how Dr. David Blanc, a dental surgeon and ergonomics consultant, improves physical comfort using a dental microscope with ultra-low binoculars. Through optimized ergonomics, Dr. Blanc is able to avoid bending his neck while performing high-precision microdentistry on his patients.

Background

When you’re a dental surgeon, a certain bedside manner is important to help your patients feel at ease during a complex procedure.

These patients may have mild, or even severe, dental anxiety. So getting them involved in the consultation, and even allowing them to visualize the procedure, can help calm their nerves and gain their trust.

Keeping up with the rapid advancements in dental technology is also critical. To this end, you need tools that make your job easier, more comfortable, and more efficient.

Dr. David Blanc is a dental surgeon and ergonomics consultant, and has been using a dental microscope in his practice to realize these benefits.

The Challenge - Discomfort Due to Long Dental Procedures

One of the main difficulties with performing a dental procedure is prolonged discomfort. Dentists often have to sit for long periods of time and bend their necks downwards to properly work with their patients.

Dr. Blanc echoes this issue in his own practice, "If I have a microscope that is very bulky, I have to position my patient lower and I lose quality”, he says. “I lose stability and as soon as I no longer have my microscope, I have to bend my neck, so it messes everything up.

He agrees that having the right amount of space between the patient’s mouth and your hands drastically improves surgical precision, “If I have my patient far away from me, I have a greater lever arm, so I lose precision. But if I move my patient up, I have a shorter lever arm, I am more precise, and so I move less overall.”

Without ultra-low binoculars, the patient position is very low. But raising the patient leaves such a small space between the lens and the mouth, making the focal distance too small. Yet four-handed dentistry is impossible!

That’s why finding a dental microscope with the right ergonomics is crucial, since poor ergonomics can result in severe stress and fatigue during long procedures. You need to make sure you’re maintaining a natural and comfortable posture throughout.

With a high magnification, my stability is very important”, says Dr. Blanc. “I cannot have my mirror moving or my movements increase tenfold… so I need stability. This is also why I need my patient close to me and I want to be able to use a microscope in this working position, which is the most ergonomic position.

Solution - Improve Ergonomics with the Right Dental Microscope

Dr. Blanc initially found the M320 dental microscope on Facebook. Japanese dentists were proudly showing off a dental microscope that had unusual ultra-low binoculars that allowed plenty of space to perform procedures. 

And they were practitioners who were extremely keen on ergonomics”, recalls Dr. Blanc. “And so, I looked at their publications and contacted them to try to understand what the microscope could bring and I understood immediately what it was for. That's where I saw a real difference from any other microscope because I didn't see these benefits anywhere else.

He noticed straight away that the M320 dental microscope was compact. The ultra-low binoculars allowed him to free up as much space as possible between the lens and the patient’s mouth. In turn, he could use all of his instruments without worrying about large and bulky equipment getting in the way. 

I have an extremely high optical quality and a fairly compact unit, everything is inside, I don't have several modules. My video module is integrated, my photo module is integrated, everything is very integrated and this frees up space.

The Results - Improve Stability, Precision and Comfort

Achieving precise control of your instruments under high magnification is crucial, since this control helps you avoid damaging the dentine walls or other tissues. The M320 dental microscope with ultra-low binoculars allows Dr. Blanc to move the patient closer to him, whilst maintaining enough space for him to perform the treatment. This helps improve precision and stability during long procedures.

Most importantly, it allows him to perform these procedures without leaning over or bending his neck towards his chest.

I can raise my patient to avoid having a cervical flexion without a microscope”, he says, “and I want to keep exactly the same position with a microscope, so that the microscope allows me to magnify my image without changing anything to my workstation.”

Physical comfort is only the beginning when you work with the right dental microscope. You can also reinforce trust by showing the steps of a procedure to your patient using live images or video playback. You can involve your patients, illustrate different treatment options to them, and make them part of the decision process. 

This beats the alternative, where you perform a complex procedure on a patient, then take pictures of the findings with an intraoral camera, and then discuss these images with the patient after the fact.

Conclusion

Dr. Blanc now uses the M320 dental microscope as a regular part of his practice.

I use the M320 dental microscope as often as I can”, he says. “I use it for bonding treatments, aesthetic treatments, cosmetic dentistry, all minimally invasive dentistry and endodontics, endodontics surgeries and root canal treatments.

The instrument offers such a versatile experience that you feel equipped to handle any dental procedure.

"I use the M320 dental microscope as often as I can"

Empowering you to improve your dental procedures

Leica Microsystems is committed to helping dental surgeons perform their procedures more efficiently. With the M320 dental microscope, you can achieve better treatment results and optimize outcomes through high precision microdentistry. And to help you share your expertise with patients and peers, you can record your procedures in impressive 4K image and video quality.

Image courtesy of Dr. David Blanc, Doctor of dental surgery, Toulouse, France.

Please note that off-label uses of products may be discussed. Please check with regulatory affairs for cleared indications for use in your region. The statements of the healthcare professional included in this symposium reflect only his opinion and personal experience. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any institution with whom he is affiliated or Leica Microsystems.

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