Back in the late 70s and early 80s, my father, a dentist, had such terrible back, neck and shoulder pain that he almost had to stop practicing dentistry. Back then dentists used to sit on stools with “belly bars” that wrapped around their mid section, and they hung their guts on that bar, hunched over their patients for hours. Why did they sit this way? Because they needed to be close because that was the only way they could see well. Plus, they ALWAYS sat that way!
Try this: hold your arms off your chair’s armrests, lean forward and count to 30. Can you feel the weight of your arms in your upper back & neck? Do that 8+ hours a day. No wonder just about every dentist had back trouble.
So, he thought about changing the way he sat. He found a cool chair from Norway that had adjustable armrests and lumbar support that worked very well in tight dental operating spaces. Great! He could now sit up straight and take the pressure off his arms and upper back. Problem solved, right? Wrong. Guess what happened? Sitting up straight with nice posture made it harder to see his work. His eyes were too far away from his patient! Now what?
He had seen some surgeons wearing glasses with mini telescopes on them that allowed them to not only operate at a comfortable distance from their patients, but see their work magnified. Why weren’t dentists doing this? If dentists could sit up straight, and still see patients comfortably, they could do dentistry all day long without discomfort. So he created a product, Orascoptic Telescopes. Initially, the product was primarily for his own use, and ultimately he thought other dentists would like the idea. So, we set out with his office staff and family to promote the ergonomic concept to the dental market: Magnifying Telescopes + Chair w/armrests = Comfortable Dentistry.
Was it an instant hit? No! Ergonomics were not discussed much in the dental market at the time, and introducing a completely new way of working was not easy in an industry set in its ways. In fact, it took several years before several industry leaders picked up on the idea and realized what a benefit the concept was for dentistry, not only in how patient care was improved as the dentist could clearly see better but in how it helped the dentist physically, which was rarely a consideration at the time. With their growing support, the concept finally took off and today it is estimated that nearly 90% of all dentists & hygienists, young and old, are using some form of magnification, making it essential equipment for the practitioner.
A frequent source of frustration among dentists was the constant adjustment of overhead lights while working. It’s dark in that mouth, and their head, hands or instruments would get in the way and block light that was needed to operate. From this frustration my dad developed a light that attached between the dentist’s eyes. From this line of sight position, the operating area was brilliantly lit and shadows were eliminated. Now the full ergonomic concept was complete: Magnifying Telescopes + Line of sight light + proper seating = Comfortable and precise dentistry.
Back then, patients of our dental customers started calling, asking for a device similar to what their dentist was wearing so they could use them for their quilting, beadwork, jewelry-making, cross-stitching, needlework, miniatures, etc. At that time, we really didn’t have a product for them. The high precision optics were quite expensive and also a bit heavy.
However, the needs of artists stayed in our minds. If we could create a similar product but lighter and more cost effective for consumers, we might be on to something. In 2008, with these artists’ working parameters as a guide, we developed and patented CraftOptics Magnifying Telescopes and launched CraftOptics in 2009. Shortly thereafter, we launched the DreamBeam light, effectively providing artists with optics and light similar to what their dentists likely use, only designed specifically for their needs.
CraftOptics helps artists magnify and light their creations. If you or someone you know would like to try them, please visit our web site at www.craftoptics.com, call us at 1 888 444 7728 or email us at [email protected] and we will guide you through the process!