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17.11.2015

Dental microscopy

The highest precision even for the smallest of details. As a pioneer in the area of microsurgery, ZEISS (founded in Jena in 1846) has repeatedly set standards in a number of disciplines. Today, common operations such as the removal of brain tumours and vein and eye operations would be impossible without an operation microscope. Modern dental medicine also requires the highest of precision and greatest attention to the smallest of details. Without the correct magnification and high quality optics, it would be almost impossible to view fine anatomical structures. Dr. Christian Schwedes is the head of the Business Sector Dental & Office at Carl Zeiss Meditec AG. Speaking to D'life, he discusses the development and advantages of dental microscopy.

D’life: Dental microscopically is a relatively new area for Carl Zeiss Meditec AG. Why did you decide to get involved in dental medicine?

Our decision to enter the dental sector resulted from the success of our operation microscope in other medical contexts. Many routine operations (such as those in the rear section of the eye) would be inconceivable without an operation microscope. As a pioneer of microsurgery, » ZEISS recognised that our microscope could make a decisive contribution in the dental sector.

As so often is the case, it was worth listening to our customers. Leading dentists saw that our operation microscope could be successfully applied to dental applications requiring a high level of precision. Without the correct magnification and high quality optics, it would be almost impossible to view fine anatomical structures. As our ideas matured, we developed specific products for our dental portfolio.

Which role does dental optics play in your company - how has this area developed?

Dentistry has developed into one of the core fields of application at ZEISS: this sector is especially interesting because we are still in a relatively early phase of development in which an operation microscope can make a decisive contribution to a number of applications. This provides the opportunity to improve procedures in a number of areas, both for the patient and the doctor. It is this challenge which attracts us at ZEISS.

How do you explain these developments?

A doctor can only treat what he can see properly. This requires magnification and light. A doctor can only use a product properly if it is tailored to his specific application and can be incorporated in the procedures. This is where we come in: working together with leading dentists to develop a good product. We had already profited from a similar approach in the neurosurgery and ophthalmology sector.

Which dental specialisms use your visualisation solutions?

After launching our operation microscopes in the dental sector in the 1990s, we soon found that it brought specific benefits in the endodontics sector. Since then, the operation microscope has established itself as a standard piece of equipment in root canal treatment. For example, an operation microscope can provide the decisive visual information required to determine the exact number of root canals. Our dental microscopes and surgical loupes are also finding increasing application in a number of other dental disciplines such as periodontology, implantology and restorative dentistry.

What is the current and future significance for dental microscopy?

We are currently witnessing the trend towards less invasive and more precise dental operations. The dentist is increasingly required to be able to recognise and treat small anatomic structures such as closing wounds with thin threads or using highly fine scalpels. As such, we believe that magnification will assume increasing importance in the future.

Operation microscopes enable the doctor to assume a comfortable and ergonomically appropriate sitting position. Bringing not only greater levels of working comfort, this prevents a range of orthopaedic problems such as neck tension and back problems.

Where can the dentist expect the most benefit: documentation diagnosis or therapy?

We see the key benefits as being provided in the areas of diagnosis and therapy. Nevertheless, the trend to the digital practice will increase the importance of documentation procedures. For instance, it will become possible to incorporate the team during treatment, in order to guarantee a consistent long-term therapy approach. Digitalisation will also improve patient documentation through the incorporation of pictures, either to satisfy legal requirements or to enable presentations. Above all, demand is increasing for integrated solutions. For example, integrated video systems are easy to use, provide an excellent picture quality through bespoke optics, and make it easier to guarantee an efficient treatment procedure.

Where do you see the trends and the most important challenges for dental microscopy -do you foresee any further innovations?

Dentists consistently raise two issues: Firstly, the networking of a digital practice to increase levels of efficiency. The second issue reflects core medical concerns: how can I improve my treatment outcomes using less invasive techniques? In working on the answers to both questions, we like to see ourselves as the partner of dentists.

Many thanks for the interview.

Published by: rf/tk 04/16
The use of the operation microscope for root canal treatment represents a standard

The use of the operation microscope for root canal treatment represents a standard