Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) have risen to prominence as efficient management systems that allow dentists to focus solely on clinical practice, leaving administrative and financial responsibilities to the organization. One essential aspect of managing multiple dental practices under a DSO is equipping them with the right technology.
If you’re responsible for equipment-related purchases for a DSO, you’ll likely want to research and think about the financial aspects, key features, customer service reputation, warranties and any additional factors that will influence your decision.
Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into each of these factors when it comes to buying a dental microscope.
For over 25 years, microscopes have been the “big brother” to dental loupes for higher-power magnification in dentistry. The increased level of magnification and improved ergonomics have been the leading reasons dentists have upgraded their loupes to a dental microscope.
Investing in dental microscopes is a strategic move for DSOs aiming to provide specialized dental services, such as endodontic therapies and restorative dentistry, across their managed practices. While the initial investment can be significant, the benefits in terms of diagnostic accuracy, treatment quality, and increased patient acceptance and satisfaction are immeasurable. By focusing on key features, budget considerations, and vendor reliability, DSOs can make an informed decision that will pay dividends in both the short and long term.
We asked our experts here at Global Surgical to help create a one-stop buyer’s guide for DSOs looking to invest in dental microscopes.
Financials of a Dental Microscope
We’re starting with this topic because finances are usually top-of-mind for any major DSO purchase decision. This is particularly true for dental equipment, which can be among the most significant investments for a DSO, but also has the potential to deliver a great return on investment.
So, how much does a dental microscope cost? Knowing before you buy helps you get the right expectations about your investment.
To help when researching cost, we wrote the article: How Much Does a Dental Microscope Cost?
Excerpted from this article: From our experience and what we’ve seen in the marketplace over the past few years, the cost of a dental microscope can range anywhere from $13,000 – $70,000. Like other technologies, there are entry-level scopes and higher-end models with more premium features. However, the industry “sweet spot” for a dental microscope with a nice mix of features and value is between $19,000 – $30,000 depending on your desired options.
While this is the range you may expect to pay for an individual unit, DSOs looking to purchase dental microscopes often can seek multi-unit discounts and/or leasing options to help lower the purchase price. Request more information from your manufacturer about financial incentives, if available, when considering a purchase.
Key Features to Consider
As with many imaging devices used by dentists, higher resolution allows for greater precision in diagnosis and treatment. Evaluating the optical quality of a dental microscope should be based on the following:
- Magnification ranges
- Depth of field
- Light transmission
- Accurate color rendition
These features of the microscope’s optics allow you to detect the smallest dental caries and cracks, and then treat them in the most effective, yet conservative, way.
The quality of the light source is crucial for effective visualization. LED light sources are commonly used due to their brightness and longevity.
When evaluating the illumination capability of a microscope, there are a few factors to consider.
- Light intensity: A high level of intensity is very desirable during procedures because, in combination with optical quality, having illumination sufficient for any task will directly impact what you will be able to see through the eyepieces.
- Color temperature: Aesthetic dentistry requires a natural color rendition gained by illuminating with a “daylight” color temperature of between 5,000 and 6,000 Kelvin.
- The life span of the light source: The life span impacts the cost of ownership, potential downtime, and the environment.
Design & Ergonomics
One of the primary promises when dental microscopes first rose to prominence over 25 years ago was to improve the long-term health of operators with an ergonomic design that relieves stress on a clinician’s body that often occurs when holding awkward positions for extended periods of time while treating patients When properly trained on a microscope, a dentist should be able to minimize their physical strain on their neck and back. Most manufacturers offer additional design features which help improve a dentist’s ergonomics, no matter their height or stature, including: adjustable heights, angles, and easy maneuverability.
Look for manufacturers which also offer additional comfort accessories such as extensions and binocular angle adjustments. This may help ensure every dentist is able to maximize their comfort.
In today’s dental practice, videos and images can be used to enhance the overall experience from diagnosis to treatment. Many modern dental microscopes come with built-in cameras or attachment options for external cameras for case documentation, which is invaluable for patient records and education.
For example, the Global A-Series microscope offers camera adapters to link either a 4K or 1080p HD camera for creating digital stills from a live video stream. You can easily archive these files from your microscope’s camera to a computer during an exam.
High quality videos and images can be used to improve communication and trust between dental professionals, patients, and colleagues, as well as aid in insurance claims and documentation.
If you manage practices that are geographically spread out, portability may be a key consideration. Here at Global Surgical, we offer more mounting options than any other manufacturer, including a mobile floor stand unit that is popular among our DSO buyers.
A mobile floor stand is designed for portability around the office/exam room or between operatories. It uses a compact H-Base with four large casters, which can be locked to prevent rolling. This design, like the fixed floor stand, minimizes required floor space.
For more information about each of our mounting options available, check out our guide: How to Mount a Global Microscope.
Warranty & Support
We’ve reviewed the most critical features for DSO buyers to consider when shopping for dental microscopes. However, thinking beyond the device itself, practitioners should also consider the manufacturer they will be working with, as they’ll be responsible for maximizing the life-span of your investment. Ask colleagues and read reviews to ensure you’re investing in a company you can trust that will be able to provide reliable support now and in the future.
For over 25 years, we have remained the only true US manufacturer of dental microscopes, allowing us to reach our customers quickly and efficiently, whether domestically or internationally.
At Global Surgical, we are committed to your total satisfaction by providing a comprehensive guarantee. We invite you to explore our unbeatable warranty, terms and conditions. We offer a limited lifetime warranty on your microscope.
- 30-Day Money-back Guarantee: The microscope and microscope accessories you purchase will be unconditionally guaranteed and risk-free. You may return a product to Global in good condition for any reason within 30 days of invoice and receive a full product refund. Custom microscope parts are excluded from this policy.
- Microscope Limited Lifetime Warranty (US & Canada): Your microscope will include an unprecedented lifetime warranty, including parts and labor, for all optical and support components.
For more on this topic, we wrote an article to help: Comparing Dental Microscope Warranties.
Training & Workflow
When purchasing equipment to be used across several practices by multiple doctors, you need greater flexibility from your manufacturer to ensure all staff are able to work with and be successful with this equipment.
On a dental microscope, this is particularly necessary not only for the design and ergonomics (to ensure the scope can be used regardless of height or size of the operator), but also the training available to ensure all staff are able to be successful with their scope.
Becoming very efficient with a microscope typically takes 4-6 months based on feedback we’ve received from doctors, during which time your doctors will become more familiar with effective patient positioning. If your doctors graduated from endodontic programs, they very likely graduated with training on a dental microscope per their required coursework.
To help with any staff looking to shorten their learning curve, we have relationships (coast-to-coast and internationally) with hands-on training institutions with renowned instructors. Check out our list of microscope training courses for 2023-24.
Opt for models that allow for upgrades, whether it’s for better illumination systems, camera attachments, or software for image analysis. This ensures the equipment stays relevant for a longer time.
At Global, we design our microscopes to be modular and upgradeable, thus greatly minimizing the possibility of obsolescence.
For a list of popular microscope accessories, and their purposes, continue reading: Upgradeable Features & Accessories for a Dental Microscope.
More Value with a Global Scope
At Global Surgical, we are committed to your total satisfaction across your organization by providing a comprehensive guarantee. Our philosophy is a simple one—to keep the burden of responsibility in our court, not yours.
If you’re considering a microscope purchase and want to learn more about our scopes, service and accessories, we are here to help! We’ve been in the business of dental microscopy for over 25 years, and we’re proud to be a US-based manufacturer with all parts manufactured in St. Louis, MO. We’ve helped thousands of dental and specialty practices see the benefits of high magnification through a dental microscope, backed by our commitment to your satisfaction from our limited lifetime warranty.
Get started by reaching out at 800-861-3585 or by clicking the button below.