3915 Hastings Street, Burnaby, BC V5C 2H8

604 - 734 - 8118

604 - 734 - 8118

Microscope Dentistry

There is no doubt that technology has shaped most of the world we live in today.  The smart phones, perpetually faster computers, and electric vehicles are just a few examples of change to increase efficiency, save time and generally make life better for many around the globe.

Over the years, technological advancement in modern dentistry has also made improvements to oral health care by leaps and bounds! Being able to see the detail of teeth under magnification is important for high quality assessment and treatment.  Improving what the dental practitioner sees may seem like an obvious advantage when it comes to the overall picture of a patient’s mouth, however, we all take this invention for granted as the dental loupes (with light) are the most commonly used type of magnification.  Assistants and hygienists also use loupes nowadays which adds to better ergonomics, accuracy of procedures, and focus on problem areas. 

Remember that prevention is key in oral health. While the dental loupes are a solution to some magnification the main drawback is that the focus can be disturbed by the movement of the practitioner’s head. This momentary focus change is easy to correct but the ideal focus comes with a fixed position, fixed focus apparatus, the dental microscope. Officially named Dental Operating Microscope (DOM), during intricate procedures, it is a reliable pillar for ensuring precise delivery of care. While it may be a very expensive addition to the dental practice, the DOM provides better clarity of “trouble spots” of the teeth, including cracks, root fractures, calcified canals, and other detail that could get missed until the condition is later stage. It’s always better to discover the problems sooner than later and have a practice built around prevention.

If the dental microscope is such a great instrument, then how many dentists use a microscope in British Columbia?  In early 2023 this question was asked to one of the DOM sales representatives.  The surprising answer was that only 2-4% of dentists use a microscope. 

Fortunately, at Palm Dental Centre, there are microscopes in each operatory.  Dr. Monaghan is a bit of a gadget guy and loves his dental microscopes.  He has practiced with DOM’s for over 12 years and has also taught 3rd year UBC dental students how to use them.    Dr. Monaghan counts on the dental microscope for all appointments from crown/bridge, endodontic, restoration and even hygiene.  He says the benefits of microscope use are:  decreased chair time, early problem detection, better accuracy, and great patient education when he can show patients their teeth pictures or live views of the treatment progress in real time.