Visual acuity of dentists under simulated clinical conditions

Eichenberger, Martina ; Perrin, Philippe ; Neuhaus, Klaus ; Bringolf, Ueli ; Lussi, Adrian

In: Clinical Oral Investigations, 2013, vol. 17, no. 3, p. 725-729

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    Objectives: This study examined the near visual acuity of dentists in relation to age and magnification under simulated clinical conditions. Materials and methods: Miniaturized visual tests were performed in posterior teeth of a dental phantom head in a simulated clinical setting (dental chair, operating lamp, dental mirror). The visual acuity of 40 dentists was measured under the following conditions: (1) natural visual acuity, distance of 300mm; (2) natural visual acuity, free choice of distance; (3) Galilean loupes, magnification of ×2.5; (4) Keplerian loupes, ×4.3; (5) operating microscope, ×4, integrated light; (6) operating microscope, ×6.4, integrated light. Results: The visual acuity varied widely between individuals and was significantly lower in the group ≥40years of age (p < 0.001). Significant differences were found between all tested conditions (p < 0.01). Furthermore, a correlation between visual acuity and age was found for all conditions. The performance with the microscope was better than with loupes even with comparable magnification factors. Some dentists had a better visual acuity without optical aids than others with Galilean loupes. Conclusions: Near visual acuity under simulated clinical conditions varies widely between individuals and decreases throughout life. Visual deficiencies can be compensated for with optical aids. Clinical relevance: Newly developed miniaturized vision tests have allowed, in a clinically relevant way, to evaluate the influence of magnification and age on the near visual acuity of dentists