Dental and oral health students' perceptions of loupes

Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2021 Mar;27(1):136-143. doi: 10.1080/10803548.2019.1574110. Epub 2019 Mar 11.


Objectives. The dental industry has embraced the usage of loupes, with recent literature identifying numerous clinical and ergonomic benefits. Despite the growing usage of loupes among Australian dental professionals and dental students, few data regarding the perceived benefits and limitations of their use in clinical practice are available. The aim of this study was to examine the experiences and opinions of loupe usage among Australian dental and oral health students. Methods. A self-reporting questionnaire was distributed to all dental and oral health students across Australia during 2016. Results. A total of 223 students responded to the questionnaire. Of these responses, 45.7% reported they wear loupes during their clinical training, with the majority (32%) purchasing them due to recommendation by a demonstrator. Primary benefits reported included ergonomics/posture (89%), restoration evaluation/detection (72%) and quality of care/improved patient care (63%). Primary limitations reported included infection control (53%), decreased awareness of patients' non-verbal communications (44%) and vision dependency (30%). Conclusions. Overall, the students in this study identified both benefits and limitations to wearing loupes in clinical practice. Despite this, an overwhelming majority (96%) of those who used loupes would recommend them to other dental and/or oral health students.

Keywords: dental student; loupes; magnification; musculoskeletal disorders; oral health student.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Perception
  • Students