I had a very disconcerting afternoon. As I sat down to do a quadrant of posterior composites on my last patient I realized that the plastic lens in the eyeglass portion of my loupes was missing. The tiny screw that holds the frame together had come loose and the lens had fallen out. We looked and looked for the lens and were unable to find it, even though it had to be in the office. Now I was left with a decision, since my magnification is flip down I could still work, but risk something splashing into my eye. Realizing this was not a good idea I went to plan B. I have worn some form of magnification for many years, and as such I have 3 or more pairs of loupes in the cabinet in my office. I went to see what we could make work. My current loupes are EyeMag Pro by Carl Zeiss with 4.5 power magnification and a portable light pack. My previous loupes were a 3.2 power magnification, and I had a light but it requires a light box on the counter. I also have two older pairs of loupes in the 2+ power range and those are great for trimming provisionals, but out of the question for clinical procedures.
I pulled the old loupes out of the box and headed back to the operatory. The lesson I learned is how dependent I am on magnification and light. Just the small drop in magnification was dramatic and annoyed me during the entire procedure. The absence of the light was almost unworkable. At one point I began to wonder how I will get through the next few days until the replacement lens shows up. I am not sure how many times I reached up to fuss with the operatory light, in the vain hope it would provide my missing illumination.
As crazy as it may seem I am seriously considering working with the one lens missing and gambling something splashing in my eye versus using my old loupes for the few days until the replacement lens shows up. One thing I know for sure, I am purchasing a back up pair of loupes and light. The expense is a small insurance policy so I know I have the most necessary piece of equipment in my office.