Updated: Apr 13, 2019
In recent years an intra-oral camera fully integrated with a dental record database has become an immensely valuable communication tool. Photographing teeth and dental procedures using digital cameras is not new and intra-oral digital cameras have been around in various guises for many years.
An image of an intra-oral camera is shown below.
Modern intra-oral cameras are ergonomically designed, quick and easy to use and are non-intrusive for patients. The camera is sited with the cluster of dental instruments and so is readily available to use. The images immediately become a permanent part of your digital dental record alongside your digital x-rays and charts.
I regularly take photographs before during and after procedures to show patients and to facilitate explaining the dental situation to patients. The overused adage that “a picture saves a 1,000 words” could never be more true that when explaining exactly what treatment involves.
The vast majority of patients like seeing these images and say that they help take away the stress that can be associated with not really understanding what is being done or why. Modern patients expect to understand details of their treatment and why treatment recommendations are being made. The intra-oral camera images help to make this possible and so help to foster understanding and trust.
Below are four images taken from the computer screen clearly showing the treatment sequence.
1. Old amalgam filling
2. Amalgam filling removed - corrosion products and secondary decay visible
3. Completed cavity preparation with corrosion and secondary decay removed
4. Completed bonded composite restoration
The image quality is excellent in the context of the size of the lens and the speed and simplicity of use. A proper SLR camera obviously produces images of higher resolution but is significantly more time consuming and intrusive for patients.