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Barrie dental care: the surgical operating microscope

First off, an obvious truth:  finding the best dentist in Barrie is not a realistic task.  More reasonable, is looking for the best dentist in Barrie for you.  While we have written about the need to look out for the traps of personality and gadgetry (neither of which alone indicate a good fit of dentist and patient), there is one piece of technology that we talk about all the time:  the dental surgical operating microscope.  This device allows us to see your mouth with unparalleled magnification.

Global Surgical 4-step Operating Microscope, otherwise known as Dr. Wong's not-so-secret weapon.
Global Surgical 4-step Dental Surgical Operating Microscope, otherwise known as Dr. Wong’s not-so-secret weapon.


Why does Dr. Elston Wong love his microscope?  Let us count the ways:

1. Superhuman vision – teeth are small, and the insides of teeth are even smaller.  When one is dealing with extremely small things, not visible to the naked eye, magnification really helps.  The obvious application is during endodontics, or root canals, where the canals inside a tooth may be so calcified that they are not open.  The microscope allows much-simplified identification and exploration of the inside of teeth.  Try finding an MB2 calcified canal without magnification and it doesn’t take much convincing that the microscope makes things a lot easier.  It is no surprise that endodontic specialty training automatically includes microscope use.

However, other uses would include seeing dental decay at much earlier times, and finding root tips at the base of extraction sockets if they happen to break.  When things are magnified, there is much less uncertainty.

2. Confidence in our dentistry – when you can see it, you can do it.  When we can see things much larger than with regular vision, there is much less uncertainty in the end result.  This means that we no longer need rely as much on things like the “feel” of the tooth when removing tooth decay – we can simply see that the decay has been removed.  Crown margins that need to be very precise can be milled with ease, and doing beautiful fillings is easier than ever before.

The microscope has lighting built in to the unit, and sends light down the lens parallel to the line of sight, so there are none of the shadows involved when regular overhead dental lamps are involved.  We recently upgraded to LED lighting, which gives us a brighter light with less energy use (and a lot less noise, without that blasted cooling fan).  Furthermore, for a given magnification, the field of view and depth of field is better than any other method of visual magnification available to clinical dentistry.

3. Conservation of tooth structure and other tissues – when we can see things really big, we don’t need to create big holes to get to them.  This means that cavities are more conservative (less drilling), access holes for root canals are smaller (less drilling and subsequent weakening of tooth), and even surgery is easier (less cutting open of tissue flaps or bone).  The less we need to do to get the job done, the better things will heal.

Small cavities in the pits of teeth. Using the microscope allows us to enter the tooth, remove the decay, and place the filling with much more confidence than we would otherwise have. Simply because we can see it.
Small cavities in the pits of teeth. Using the microscope allows us to enter the tooth, remove the decay, and place the filling with much more confidence than we would otherwise have. Simply because we can see it.

4. Saves Dr. Wong’s back – let’s face it- dentistry is demanding on the back.  There are not many dental clinicians (dentists, assistants, hygienists alike) who do not eventually have some sort of neck or back issue.  By allowing Dr. Wong to sit more upright while working, it takes strain off the back.  Or in other words, sit up straight!  (Thanks, mom).

Our office uses dental operating microscopes from Global Surgical (made in the USA quality), and service is excellent.

Can one do excellent dentistry without the microscope?  Absolutely. It is still not mandatory equipment for dental offices, and there is plenty of excellent dentistry being done.

Could we work without one?  Absolutely not.  For us, it makes things so much easier and faster that the cost of the equipment has long ago paid for itself (and that thing wasn’t cheap).  And the great thing?  Until the properties of light change, it will never become obsolete.

So there it is, Dr. Wong’s favourite piece of equipment.  Contact us for a customized dental examination!  We’d love to be your Barrie dentist.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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