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Preliminary study finds ergonomic loupes can help reduce back and neck strain for dental practitioners

Study suggests significant mitigation of stress using Ergo loupes.

Dr. Amit Fima, Haifa, Israel. www.drfima.co.il

Haifa, Israel – Admetec, a leader in the design, development, and manufacturing of custom-fitted magnification loupes for dentists, surgeons, veterinarians, and their staff, is collaborating with an Italy-based dental professor in her study of the ergonomic significance of the company’s Ergo Series of loupes. 

Prof. Maria Grazia Piancino, Associate Professor at the University of Turin-Italy, C.I.R. Dental School, Department of Surgical Sciences – as well as a practicing orthodontist – has published extensive research on the functional control of the neuromuscular system, specifically cranium and jaw movements, and its interconnected impact on the overall body. The idea for the study came when Professor Piancino, who is well-versed in proper posture for dental practitioners, noticed a colleague wearing a pair of Admetec Ergo loupes. She surmised that the improved working position the loupes afforded could significantly decrease neuromuscular strain, and recommended evaluating the physical benefits of the ergonomic loupes.

Professor Piancino explains: “People tend to be unaware of the enormous impact balance and symmetrical muscle activation have on physical comfort – and by extension, mental focus and overall wellbeing. Dentists tend to work in asymmetrical positions for extended periods of time, making demands on their physiology that go against the body’s biomechanical design.”

Professor Piancino continues, discussing the gradual negative impact this can have on dental practitioners. 

“In the short term, asymmetrical muscle activation can cause pain and discomfort. Over the long term, the result can be cumulative damage like repetitive strain injury (RSI) or musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Because the neurological and muscular systems are so intimately connected, as clearly demonstrated by recent research, imbalanced straining negatively affects not only the physical wellbeing of doctors, but also their ability to focus and perform their best work. Discovering that these common injuries might be avoidable would be highly significant for dentists and other medical professionals.”

In preliminary research using both dentistry students and post-graduate students, Professor Piancino compared the amount of stress on eight symmetrical back muscles when working with Admetec’s Ergo loupes against conventional, through-the-lens (TTL) loupes. Use of the Ergo loupes illustrated a more symmetrical activation of the muscles, as well as a significant reduction of the muscular peaks and mitigation of stress in both the back and neck. Use of the TTL loupes resulted in greater stress levels, with muscles being highly activated asymmetrically and continuously, rather than with postural activity. In other words, these results indicate that the use of non-refractive TTL loupes forces the body to work contrary to its biomechanical design, which leads to fatigue, pain, discomfort, difficulty maintaining mental focus, and eventually cumulative trauma that can impact performance and career longevity. 

Danny Katz, COO of Admetec commented: “We were pleased when Professor Piancino chose to research the physical impact of using ergonomic loupes versus classic TTL loupes. It is one thing to receive feedback from doctors on how they feel better using our Ergo loupes. It is another to have a scientific explanation that shows why they feel better.” 

Professor Piancino and Admetec have agreed to collaborate on further research on the health ramifications of using standard TTL loupes vs ergonomic loupes.

Customized to each individual wearer through a multi-factor process, Admetec’s popular Ergo Series of loupes offers an unparalleled combination of magnification potential and user comfort. The Ergo Series’ precision vision and exceedingly light weight helps healthcare practitioners work more comfortably and effectively for extended periods of time, maximizing concentration by minimizing physical discomfort. The loupes are available in six different levels of magnification: 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 7.5x and 10x. The 10x model is the world’s only ergonomic loupe offering so high a magnification level.

ERGO Admetec

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