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Message in a Bottle Mailbag: Loupes, patient education app, a trip to Spain

July 11, 2016
Editorial Director Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, shares which loupes he's wearing (and which loupes he wants to wear), recommends a patient education app called DDS GP, and gives an update on his recent trip to Spain for the 2016 Ivoclar Global Esthetics Summit and Experts Symposium.

The "Message in a Bottle Mailbag" is a monthly feature of the e-newsletter, Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator. Each month, Editorial Director Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, answers reader-submitted questions to help you navigate your dental product decisions (and more!). This month, he shares which loupes he's wearing (and which loupes he wants to wear), recommends a patient education app, and gives an update on his recent trip to Spain for the 2016 Ivoclar Global Esthetics Summit and Experts Symposium.

QUESTION: Amir from Texas asked: Where do you stand these days as far as loupes go? What are you wearing?

Amir, I am going to assume that you are asking what loupes I am wearing because if not, that could be weird! Currently, I am switching back and forth between a couple of different pairs of loupes. The vast majority of dentists probably don't need to do that, but I need to review loupes, so that means I need to wear different sets. Last year, I demoed and reviewed the Orascoptic EyeZoom loupes (pictured), and I have loved them ever since. They have been workhorses for me, and I have enjoyed having the ability to switch magnifications without changing loupes. I am currently demoing a set of SurgiTel 4.5X Prism expanded field through-the-lens loupes. Their frame is nice and comfortable. I am still adjusting to them a little, but the optics are great, and the declination angle is ergonomically ideal. My fiancé recently got the Designs for Vision 4.5X Expanded Field loupes and loves them. I am hoping to try those soon.

I think the best thing to do with loupes is go to the exhibit hall floor at a trade show and try a bunch of different pairs on. That's the only way to figure out what works best for you. In that vein, though, I am a believer in sticking with one of the three big companies. They seem to offer the best support, which is vital with loupes. I need to purchase from a company that will take care of me, should I have an issue with my loupes—seeing as how I can’t work without them!


QUESTION: Darren from Tacoma wrote: I read the "Pearl" about the DDS GP app in the latest issue of Dental Economics. I have seen DDS GP in the App Store, but it's really expensive. Do you think it's been worth it?

Thanks for the question, Darren. I thought the same exact thing. I am used to buying apps for $1.99. I had a hard time fathoming spending about $399 on one app. But DDS GP is no Candy Crush. It seems like more than an app—it’s a replacement for something like CAESY. While CAESY is really cool and has a lot of functionalities, it's also expensive. I think DDS GP does as good of a job as CAESY at a small fraction of the price. Like I said in the article, I have one shared office iPad. I already owned the iPad when I purchased DDS GP. So for a small one-time purchase, you can have a nice patient education system up and going. To me, it's a great option that's very useful in day-to-day patient care.


QUESTION: Tim from Chicago wrote: Hey, Dr. Austin. We're friends on Facebook (even though we haven’t met in real life), and I saw you were recently in Spain with Lee Ann Brady. What’s up with that?

Thanks for asking, Tim. Yeah, I did go to Madrid, Spain, with Dr. Lee Ann Brady, Dr. Joyce Bassett, Dr. Elliot Mechanic and ceramist Lee Culp for the Ivoclar Global Esthetics Summit and Experts Symposium. I am not sure how I was included in that group, but it was awesome! Esthetic dentistry in Europe is amazing. Those dentists can do some incredible things with ceramics and composite. I think some of us often get into a mode of thinking that the United States is "the best of the best" with no exceptions, and that's dangerous. There are some talented dentists and ceramists all over the world. The trip to Spain opened my eyes to how great dentistry can be in other countries. In addition, we all had a great time eating paella and drinking tempranillo.

Editor's Note: Do you have a question for Dr. Austin? Is there a product you'd like to see him review? Or would you like to submit your own "Pearl"? Send an email to [email protected]. You might just see it in the e-newsletter, Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator! If you're not a Product Navigator subscriber, click here to sign up.MORE MAILBAGS:June 2016 | Lip and cheek retractors, temporary cement, writing
May 2016 |
Using a stump shade guide, transitioning to digital impressions, TV shows
April 2016 |
Wireless headlight, ceramic-based composite, baseball season
Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, is an editorial director for Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator, an e-newsletter from DentistryIQ and Dental Economics. He also writes the "Pearls for Your Practice" column in Dental Economics. After graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School, Dr. Austin associated for several years. During October of 2009, he opened a solo general practice in a suburban area of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Austin is involved in all levels of organized dentistry and can be reached at [email protected].

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