Services | Daniel A. Shalkey DDS

Microscope Enhanced Dentistry

Why are loupes (magnifying glasses) not enough? Many dentists wear special magnifying glasses. These are wonderful but their magnification is limited compared with the microscope. I have 4.5x high quality magnifying glasses and they are great. From a normal working distance they put my eyes just outside the mouth of the patient.

Why are microscopes not used more? Less than 1 % of dentists use this wonderful technology, perhaps due to the expense of purchasing microscopes and the time and training needed to learn to use them.

Why are microscopes better? The higher magnification can put my eyes inside the mouth and even inside the tooth. This level of magnification and lighting makes it possible to evaluate defective restorations, inspect teeth for decay or cracks, and find tiny root canals inside a tooth that are the size of a human hair.

When do we use the Microscope? Most procedures are easier and more thorough when done under high magnification, so we use the microscope for most of our services, especially in restorative and endodontic services.

This is an example of using the microscope compared to viewing the tooth via the naked eye;  loupes at 4x; and the microscope at up to 16x. This tooth has all restorative materials removed to allow assessment of the integrity of the underlying tooth structure prior to restoring the tooth. Unfortunately there is a severe crack inside the tooth that is not obvious until seen under the high magnification of the Microscope.