Message in a Bottle Mailbag: Expanded-field loupes, oral cancer screening recommendations, NCAA

Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, responds to a question about expanded-field loupes compared to Galilean, recommends two oral cancer screening lights, and discusses his NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament brackets.

Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 04 Oral Cancer Screening Diqthumb

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 responds to a question about expanded-field loupes compared to Galilean, recommends two oral cancer screening lights, and discusses his NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament brackets.

Eye Glasses CloseupQuestion

Jim from Chicago asked: Do you think the expanded-field loupes are much different from regular loupes?


Excellent question, Jim. I don't know the technical answer to this question, so I will answer based on my experience. I definitely notice a difference when using expanded-field prism loupes versus traditional Galilean loupes. The field is wider and deeper, and the adjustment is easier. Expanded-field loupes are pretty much the only ones I find myself wearing these days. Next time you are at a dental meeting, go to the exhibit hall and try on a set of each company’s expanded-field prism loupes. I think you will immediately see a difference, and if you decide to get some, your adjustment curve will be easier and shorter. Thanks for writing in!



Pamela asked: Can you please recommend a good oral cancer detection light that is reasonably priced?


Great question. I think an oral cancer screening light can be of great value for your practice. You are right, though—cost does matter. Typically, you won't bill your patients for oral cancer screening, but screening can show them that you are serious about their oral and systemic health. We’ve reviewed a couple of these devices, and I liked each of them.

Oralid2 Bioscreen
The OralID 2.0 from Forward Science (left) and the Bio/Screen from AdDent (right)

The OralID from Forward Science was nice and easy to use. It even has a little clip that latches on to your smartphone, so you can take a photo of an area in question for your records or for referral to a specialist. I also reviewed the Bio/Screen light from AdDent, and I found it to be easy to use and well made. Compared to many of the other options on the market, these oral cancer screening lights are affordable. Check out either for something that might fit your needs! Thanks for the question.


Ncaa BracketQuestion

Jean from Greenville, North Carolina, wrote: Do you do brackets? How are they doing?


Well, I am writing this on the Monday after the round of 32, so 16 teams remain in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Of those 16, only six are still alive in my brackets. Obviously, my brackets are busted. I was doing well through the first round, but once we got to the round of 32, I tanked hard.

At my office, I do a bracket challenge for my patients and give an Apple Watch to the winner. I am currently sitting square in the bottom half of the bracket. I hate it … but I love it too. This tournament is one of my favorite events of the year. I try to use it to market my practice by running the aforementioned bracket challenge for my patients. I always tell other dentists: if there is an event or hobby you really enjoy, try to find fun ways to include your patients. If it's not sports, that's cool. Maybe it's the Oscars. If so, have a competition to see who can most accurately pick the winners. Give the winner a prize. Patients love that stuff!

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 e-mail to 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 reading

March 2017 | High caries risk and gluten-free diets
February 2017 |
Strippable fibers for soft-tissue lasers, glass ionomers, hiring a speaking coach
January 2017 |
Long-term use of loupes, scheduling front office training, GNYDM

Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 01 Josh Austin 124 124Joshua 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. In October 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

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