Tech Talk With Dr. Cranska


In upcoming months, I will answer questions on high-technology dentistry. Please direct inquiries to my website at or email me at

What Eye Technology Is Essential To The Modern Dental Office?

What dental technology do dentists find the most indispensable? What can’t they live without? A recent publication surveyed dentists, and the No. 1 response was eyeglass loupes and headlamps. Magnified eyewear has become essential over the past 20-plus years, and attaching an independent light source adds to the view.

Q: Why do dentists wear goggles?

A: Dentists wear eyeglasses for protection and to improve vision. Loupes are magnifying glasses that enlarge everything I see in the mouth. Magnification of three times or larger is needed for me to perform precise dental work and to properly diagnose conditions in the mouth.

The headlight, mounted on the loupes, shines where I look.

Dentists need to work in a dark area (your mouth). Lighting is essential for treatment in the oral cavity. Used overhead in the treatment rooms, LED dental lights produce more neutral white light, use about one-fifth of the power consumption of halogen light bulbs, do not produce radiant heat, and will last up to 30,000 hours. Adjustable LED overhead lights are also mounted on the ceiling or chair. Rechargeable mini LED headlamps are also attached to glasses or loupes to increase illumination of the magnified treatment area.

Q: Why does the dentist make me wear glasses?

A: The tinted glasses handed to the patient in the dental treatment areas are provided for safety. These protect your eyes from anything that could splash or drop into your eyes during dental procedures. The dental team wears glasses for the same reason.

When dental lasers are utilized, as a precaution you will be required to wear specially treated eye glasses during treatment to protect your eyes from inadvertent laser light beam exposure.

If anything drops into your eyes, it can cause damage. The liquids used in dentistry are often acidic or strong alkaline, which could damage the soft tissues of the eye. If your dental treatment involves restorations, particles of filling material could escape the high-volume suction and have the potential of lodging into the eye and scratching it. Ultrasonic cleaning of your teeth dislodges tartar and bacteria into the air. Glasses will also protect your eyes from the instruments and equipment that the dental team is holding. Every patient has always worn eye protection since I opened my first office, so luckily I don’t have any stories to tell.

Safety glasses are thoroughly decontaminated following strict guidelines after every use.

Eyewear in dentistry is made for improved vision, but eyewear also has many components for safety. Remember, safety glasses work only if you wear them.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here