Have you ever had a chance to play with a microscope? Perhaps you haven’t looked through a microscope since high school but you remember how it opened up entire worlds to your sight that were previously invisible. Hair has a fish-scale-like texture; a drop of water contains all kind of tiny creatures. Just like magnification can reveal a world in pond water, it can highlight tiny flaws and problems on the surfaces of your teeth when your dentist uses what is known as “loupes”.


What Are Loupes?

Loup is pronounced like “loop”, and they are magnifying devices. Loupes for dentists are usually two small magnifying glasses (sans handle) that are installed like binoculars on glasses, like what you may have seen mad scientists or old watchmakers wearing in children’s book illustrations.
It’s difficult to see into mouths,since they’re dark places! The lamp that’s shining into your eyes while you’re in the dental chair is often blocked by the dentist’s head leaning over to get a better look, so loupes sometimes have a light source installed on them.


What Do Loupes Do?

One thing you should ask your dentist is if they use loupes in their examinations. Many do, and in our opinion they are a very useful tool in diagnosis. Magnifications range from 2.5 to 6.0 times. This means that teeth look between two and a half and six times bigger than they’d look with the naked eye. Why is this important? Our dentists explain that it allows them to do very precise work and diagnosis. We use 6.0x magnification loupes – this is the highest magnification available without using an operating microscope (which usually only endodontists – dentists who specialize in procedures like root canals – use). Examples of what loupes can do include helping us to see how far a crack goes along the surface of your tooth and getting a more precise look at possible beginnings of tooth decay.

You can trust that at Bow Trail Dental we will use our loupes to examine your teeth to give you high-quality diagnostic and preventative care. Call our Calgary dental office at (403) 240-1257 to book your appointment. Our family of dental professionals looks forward to welcoming you and giving you treatment that responds to your unique needs and goals. We love to see you smile!