Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Susan Lynn Tolle

Committee Member

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

Gayle McCombs

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 C55 2011


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine policies and practices regarding magnification loupes among accredited dental hygiene programs as measured by a 31- item, self-designed questionnaire titled Magnifying Loupes in U.S. Entry Level Dental Hygiene Programs. In addition, the study compared policies among dental hygiene programs in two year versus four year programs in terms of requirements for the use of magnification loupes.

Methods: After institutional review board approval, the questionnaire was emailed via Survey Monkey to 303 entry-level dental hygiene programs. An overall response rate of 75% was obtained. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test of independence.

Results: Results reveal the vast majority of programs do not require loupes for faculty or students with only 23% ofresponding schools requiring students to purchase loupes and 8% requiring faculty to use loupes. More dental hygiene programs require students to wear loupes than require faculty to wear loupes. No statistically significant differences (p-value = 0.54) in program policies were found requiring the purchase of magnifying loupes by students, based on 2-year and 4-year dental hygiene educational programs. Odds ratio (1.25) gives the likelihood of students purchasing loupes in a 2-year program as 25% higher than a 4-year program. Almost two-thirds of the respondents reported loupes instruction as a curriculum component although most respondents spent two or less hours teaching in this area. Most programs (90%) do not plan to require students to purchase loupes in the future although the majority (72.9%) agrees or strongly agrees the proper use of loupes should be integrated in the curriculum.

Conclusions: Most respondents (98.7%) identify advantages to loupes, but clinical policies on loupes do not appear to correlate with beliefs. Educational programs in dental hygiene seem slow to adopt and require the use of loupes. Current clinical polices on loupes should be reviewed to ensure graduates experience the potential ergonomic benefits magnification brings to clinical practice during their education.


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