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Comparing 3 Brands of Popular Dental Loupes: Design for Vision, Q-Optics and Enova

Welcome to the 3rd blog post of the ergonomic series. With over a handful of companies offering a variety of dental loupes at vendor fairs in dental schools and regional/national conferences, it can be hard to make a decision that is best fit for you. Loupes are an intricately customized tool that, when selected appropriately, can elevate your clinical abilities and prolong your body’s shelf life in dentistry. Whether you are a first year dental student or ready to upgrade your well-loved pair of loupes, this blog post will help you Identify what factors you should prioritize based on your clinical and ergonomic needs. 

In the last six years, I have used three popular loupe brands: Design For Vision, Q-Optics, and Enova Illumination. While this is not an exhaustive list, I will detail the pros and cons for each company in which I can speak to use their product to help you guide your loupe decisions. 

Design for Vision (DFV) - Micro2.5X Scopes smaller, lighter 2.5x optics (Previously named Nike Skylon 2.5x Surgical Loupes) 

  • My first set of loupes purchased back in 2018

  • Price: $1095 (loupe) + $1000 (light)

  • Reason: I was introduced to DFV at UCSF’s welcome week D1 loupe vendor fair, in addition to trying out other pairs of Orascoptic and Surgitel. 

  • Pros:

    • Greater starter kit loupe to get accustomed to working in the mouth. 2.5x allows you to visualize one quadrant of dentistry which helped me become oriented in establishing direct and indirect vision. 

    • The light has stood the test of time. Purchased over 6 years ago, the representative at the time informed me I would likely need to replace the batteries in 2 years. I bought two batteries as recommended (always have a charged pack ready to go for clinical care) and to this day in May 2024, the both light batteries are still working! 

  • Cons: 

    • In the two years I used DFV, I had a difficult time reaching out for customer service. We typically scheduled the representative to come to campus when a student needed a repair/upgrade and informed the school the rep would be there that day. My D3 year, the adhesive holding the frame and the optical piece detached and took 8 weeks for repair which prompted my second loupe purchase.

Q- Optics: Prismatic 3.5x Surgical Loupes with Eclipse Frame

  • My second set of loupes purchased in 2021 which I used throughout my D3/D4 year and first year of practice in the Navy dentistry. 

  • Price: $1750 (loupe) in 2021; DFV to Q Optic light adapter ($30) 

  • Reason: I wanted to upgrade my magnification from 2.5 to 3.5 and this coincided with the time my DFV frames were loose. 

  • Pros:

    • Light in weight, best nose pads I have found for a diverse nose shape. As an Asian American woman with a flatter nose bridge, I found the adjustable silicone padding to be soft and sturdy. 

  • Cons:

    • Initial measurements were off-  first use of loupes I was seeing double vision. Took about 4 weeks to re-measure and deliver a new set.

    • Plastic straps to secure loops are often loosened. 

Enova: Angled Prism 5.5x Loupes 

  • The creme de la creme! My third and current loupe I use. 

  • Price: $2695 (loupe) + $1195 (light) = $3890 (2024)

  • Reason: As a new dentist, there are inevitable stresses that come with patient care. This is typically when my bad habits of bending my back and twisting my neck kick in. When I started to notice my back and shoulder pain trickle into personal life ie. playing pickleball or unwinding after a long day, I realized this was not sustainable. This motivated me to preventively prioritize my ergonomics and my a great investment into my postural health with Enova’s angled Prism 5.5x ergo loupes. 

  • Pros: 

    • Customer service: With a representative in every major city in the US that can readily come to your office or dental school for a fitting or any adjustments, this was key for me. As our practice of dentistry evolves, I realize I am looking for specific factors. The Enova Loupe representatives serve as a liaison to help guide you to the specifications and magnifications to fit your clinical needs. 

    • Improved clinical quality: With a 5.5x magnification, WOW- when I tell you I can see my #18 DO box or clearly delineate whether I’m on restorative material or tooth margin, I can. Using these higher magnification loupes has improved my standard of care because more is visible to me. This has been a huge game changer to my practice and allowed me to lead with more confidence in my quality of care. 

    • Great discipline/training wheel to sit up straight while working

    • Endo: If you are interested in taking on more endo cases, you can consider these ergonomic loupes as your traveling microscope. I am no longer bending my neck to negotiate MB and ML canals of mandibular first molars (you know that aching feeling).  If you already are using ergonomic loupes and want more magnification, consider adding a Zumax microscope to your practice. With magnification up to 20x every detail can be seen! 

  • Cons: 

    • Adjustment period: If an ergo loupe is your first pair of loupes, you can disregard this. There is mainly something to be said about the adjustment period when you are transitioning from a one plane loupe to a two plane loupe. Great thing is - your body will feel the relief in postural pain in just a few days.

    • Limitations: This is a fantastic loupe for 80% of general dentistry, but it is not a “catch-all” loupe. While maintaining a straight back and limiting neck flexion is the ideal goal of practicing dentistry, there are some clinical cases that require more. For example, when I am prepping buccal surfaces of maxillary 2nd molars or extracting third molars, I will use another pair of loupes and tactile sensation. 

All in all, having owned three pairs of loupes that all are completely functional and serviceable to this day, there’s certainly something to be said about the caliber of loupe products in the market today. If you can achieve a balance of cost, comfort, and customer service, I would say there is no wrong choice. However, I’m a firm believer that there is an optimal choice customized for you. My hope in sharing my experience and knowledge of loupes has empowered you to make a decision best fit for your clinical use. 

First time buying loupes? Or looking to upgrade your current pair? Check out my previous blog post on Four Factors You Must Understand When Purchasing Your Loupes..

If you select Enova as your loupe of choice and found this blog post helpful, share it with a friend in dentistry or hygiene and use the code “TPDG24” online/with your local representative. In our next development of the ergonomic series, we’ll be diving into how to efficiently transition into your ergonomic loupes. 

(Photos courtesy of - for more insights on photography, check out Dr. Cage's blog page!

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