Magnification, Advanced Magnification, Extreme Magnification.

What does that mean to a general dentist? To help explain lets explore the parallel continuum of magnification and computer processing power. However, because powers of magnification have a squared, not linear relationship to visual information, a seemingly small jump in magnification creates a level of visual information that will profoundly impact the potential for clinical accuracy. Early on, during the advances in the power of computer processing, a prediction was made that every 18 months a ten-fold speed increase would warrant an upgrade in the processing chip. And sure enough we all kept upgrading our computers from 286 to 386 to 486 to the Pentium to the dual processor, etc. Ten-fold power change is key for computer speed as well as visual information.

The general consensus is that at 3.5X magnification it’s not just better dentistry, its different dentistry. Then at 10X it happens again. In other words, at 3.5X you can do things that you simply cannot predictably perform without advanced magnification. See example in the diastema closure/peg lateral series. At 10X (extreme magnification) another world opens up that is demonstrated in the endodontic images.

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David Clark, DDA. “A Microscope for Every Dentist: Why and How”