von Glenn van As
Microscope magnification comes in handy for many things in dentistry. We find the value of magnification to be important in diagnosis of problems. As we increase from 2.1 times magnification through to 20 times magnification the amount of visual information presented to the eye increases as the square of the magnification.
So at 2X magnification the human eye sees 4 X the amount of visual information as does the naked eye ( no magnification).
At 8X magnification we see 64X the visual information of the naked eye and 16X what we see at 2x mag.
At 20X mag we see 400X the visual information that we see with no magnification and in fact 100X that of 2X loupes.
In this case we had a patient with pain that was constant and he felt it was in the premolar region. The first premolar was the abutment of a bridge. The molars both had periodontal disease ( between 26 and 27).
On closer inspection one can see how the increasing value of magnification shows a vertical fracture from mesial to distal that was complete. With staining of methylene blue and separation of the facial and lingual pieces the understanding of the diagnosis of vertical fracture of tooth 25 becomes evident and the treatment ( extraction and replacement with an implant) can be undertaken.