[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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 300 mm; (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 ≥40 years 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated the near visual acuity of 40 dentists and its improvement by using different magnification devices. The acuity was tested with miniaturized E-optotype tests on a negatoscope under the following conditions: 1. natural visual acuity, 300 mm; 2. single lens loupe, 2×, 250 mm; 3. Galilean loupe, 2.5×, 380 mm; and 4. Keplerian loupe, 4.3×, 400 mm. In part 1, the influence of the magnification devices was investigated for all dentists. The Keplerian loupe obtained the highest visual acuity (4.64), followed by the Galilean loupe (2.43), the single lens loupe (1.42), and natural visual acuity (1.19). For part 2, the dentists were classified according to their age (<∕≥40 years). The younger dentists' group achieved a significantly higher visual acuity with all magnification devices (p<0.001). For part 3, the dentists were grouped according to their natural visual acuity. The group with the higher natural visual acuity achieved significantly higher visual acuity with all magnification devices than did the group of dentists with the lower natural visual acuity (p<0.01). It can be concluded that near visual acuity varies highly between individuals and decreases during the lifetime. Independent of age or natural vision, visual acuity can be significantly improved by using magnification devices.