Dental microsurgery involves the use of magnification and illumination for an enhanced visualization of anatomical details and fine structures. The dental microscope is an essential instrument used in dental procedures and dental surgery, allowing optimal assessment, preservation and maintenance of tooth structure and oral tissue, as well as minimally invasive procedures.
Applications of Dental Surgical Microscopy
The use of microscopes in dental surgery has a wide range of applications, since it allows an enhanced visualization of fine anatomical details and tissue structures. By using higher magnification and seeing more, dental professionals can apply their skills more precisely and optimize their workflow. Some of the most common applications of Dental Surgical Microscopy, also referred to as micro-dentistry, include the following:
Endodontics and endodontic surgery
Periodontics and periodontal surgery
Prosthodontics and aesthetic dentistry
Routine dental techniques
Challenges of Dental Microsurgery
A dental microscope should provide optimal light intensity and depth of field, while achieving sufficient resolution when working in deep or narrow cavities, such as during root canal treatment.
In micro-dentistry procedures, it is essential to achieve optimal and precise control of dental instruments under high magnification to avoid damaging the dentine walls or other tissues.
Moreover, it is important to achieve visualization of anatomical details in vivid colors to ensure their correct differentiation, such as during removal of pathologic tissue during dental procedures or surgeries.
Maintaining a natural and comfortable working posture is another major challenge in dental microsurgery, as poor ergonomics can lead to significant stress and fatigue during lengthy procedures.
Benefits of Using a Dental Microscope
A dental microscope supports the dentist during micro-invasive surgeries and other surgical procedures with the aim to preserve the tooth structure and conserve tissue, while minimizing the risks and reducing healing time. Dental microsurgery offers the following advantages:
Higher precision and accuracy, thanks to high magnification views with optimal depth perception and true-to-life colors
Workflow efficiency under ergonomic conditions
Improved patient care – microsurgery offers reduced risks and recovery time for patients, as well as better patient education using microscope images.
Improved training and education due to integrated HD image and video recording.
Improved documentation through transfer of images or videos to patient files.
Six Features to Consider when Choosing a Dental Microscope
To choose the microscope that best fits the dentist’s needs, it is helpful to know some of the decisive features of a modern dental microscope.
1 Optical quality
A dental microscope is at its core an optical instrument, which allows the dentist to see enhanced detail in order to work as precisely as possible. Therefore, there should be no compromise concerning the optical components. Only superior optical quality with excellent clarity offers high resolution, large depth of field, and maximum light transmission.
This is indispensable for a successful root canal treatment as the root canals are in most cases not rectilinear and have cavities and tiny ramifications, which are difficult to detect without high magnification and depth of field. Accurate color representation is also required for easy differentiation of anatomical details.
In combination with optical quality, illumination plays a key role in the brightness and color of the image that the dentist sees through the eyepiece. For natural color representation, light with daylight temperature of between 5,000 and 6,000 kelvin is optimal.
Today, video and images plays an ever increasing role within the dental practice for a number of reasons. Firstly during a procedure, live on-screen video can help the assistant to support the dental surgeon. Video is also a useful training tool either during or post treatment and can additionally be shared with the wider dental community online or at seminars.
Additionally video can support patient relationships and trust as the dentist can show the patient what he sees, take them through the steps of a procedure and thus include them in consultation and treatment.
Finally video and images can be included in a patient’s file for more thorough documentation and to facilitate easy review. Ease of transfer to a practice documentation system and the ability to save different file formats are therefore further key considerations.
4 Ergonomic design
Musculoskeletal pain caused by a hunched working position and harsh, repetitive movements, can have a serious impact on the dentist’s professional and personal life. Using a microscope during dental procedures helps the dentist to maintain a neutral, upright working position. Modern microscopes should also offer a variety of ergonomic accessories to adapt the microscope to the user’s individual body frame and working preference.
5 Workflow integration
A microscope’s design does not only have the aesthetics in mind, but also the functionality. A carefully considered design should make it easy to integrate the microscope into the practice environment and even improve the workflow.
In a dental practice a high standard of cleanliness is a prerequisite and each piece of equipment should make it as easy as possible to maintain this high standard. A streamlined design with cables routed internally from the optics carrier to the stand, makes a microscope easier to clean and also avoids accidental cable damage.