Are Your Dental Loupes Worsening Your Neck Health?

By Dr. Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS

Imagine spending $1,500 on new loupes and then developing neck pain—or your existing neck pain worsens. This is an all-too-common problem that I frequently encounter in my dental ergonomic consultations and among my dental students.   On the other hand, I have repeatedly seen well-designed ergonomic loupes that improve or completely resolve neck pain. So how do you know if your loupes are improving or worsening your health?

Of all the criteria for selecting loupes (working distance, frame size, scope position, declination angle, co-axial adjustment), declination angle is the most important ergonomic factor that can make or break your health.

Studies show that working with the neck flexed forward only 20 degrees or more for 70 percent of the working time has been associated with neck pain.  While no loupe systems provide completely neutral head posture (ear-over-shoulder), loupes with a steep declination angle may significantly improve operator working postures in dentistry, thereby lessening risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improving clinician comfort. Therefore, to prevent musculoskeletal injury, loupes should enable you to work with less than 20 degrees of neck flexion.

Continue reading

Global Oral Health Summit: The Exchange Central

During a hectic day at a learning event, it’s common for teams to choose a designated spot to meet up and regroup between educational sessions. At the Global Oral Health Summit, that “designated spot” is Exchange Central. It’s more than a place to connect with team members, it’s a central location with software and support resources, local information and fun ways to relax and recharge.

Make a Pit Stop with the Practice Management Pit Crew
Attendees can look under the hood at some of the new and exciting changes coming to Carestream Dental software. The crew of software analysts and designers will be on-hand to showcase the investments and improvements taking place in Carestream Dental’s practice management systems.

Join The Exchange
Attendees can chat with a Community Expert to learn more about The Exchange, Carestream Dental’s free online users community. At The Exchange, users can ask questions, participate in polls and search for handy how-to guidance for navigating their software.

Summit Play
Get crafty with your hands or challenge others to a game of corn hole, giant Jenga or Connect Four in our Summit Play area. Continue reading