Journal of Dental Hygiene
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of dental magnification loupes on posture during instrumentation.
Methods: A convenience sample of 27 right-handed dental hygienists, with no prior history of injuries or disabilities of the head, neck, or trunk region, enrolled in the study. Baseline posture calibration was taken and tri-axial accelerometers were placed on four locations of the head and trunk (occipital region of head; cervical vertebrae C5; thoracic vertebrae T5; lumbar vertebrae L1) to measure acceleration and the orientation of the body to gravity. Participants were randomly assigned to wear self-supplied magnification loupes during either the first or second half of the session. Dental chair mounted typodonts, prepared with artificial calculus, were used to represent a simulated oral environment. Participants were asked to explore all areas of the mouth using an ODU 11/12 explorer. Mean accelerations of the three axes were used to compute average forward/backward (AP) and side to side (ML) tilt of each accelerometer recorded during the instrumentation sessions. An end-user opinion survey was completed by each participant at the conclusion of the session.
Results: No statistically significant differences in posture were revealed between the sessions with the participants wearing their loupes and not wearing loupes. However, data from the end-user survey indicate that 74% of all the participants strongly agreed that magnification loupes made exploring easier and 67% strongly agreed that they felt that magnification loupes improved their posture.
Conclusion: While the majority of participants perceived that their magnification loupes enhanced their posture and made exploring easier, data from this study provided little evidence to suggest that wearing loupes leads to improved body orientation. Future research needs to examine the declination angle of ergonomic loupes and its relationship to neck and trunk flexion.
Original Publication Citation
Ludwig, E. A., McCombs, G. B., Tolle, S. L., & Russell, D. M. (2017). The effect of magnification loupes on dental hygienists' posture while exploring. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 91(4), 46-52.
Ludwig, Emily; McCombs, Gayle B.; Tolle, Susan L.; and Russell, Daniel M., "The Effect of Magnification Loupes on Dental Hygienists' Posture While Exploring" (2017). Dental Hygiene Faculty Publications. 40.