November 10, 2017
One of the most useful high-tech tools a dentist can add to their arsenal today is a dental camera. In the past, dental cameras could easily cost upwards of ten thousand dollars. The hardware was cumbersome and they were extremely difficult to set up and use. The cameras were analog and required high intensity lights and capture cards in computers. The image was mediocre at best. The technology has come a long way since then.
Today’s dental cameras are about the size of an electronic toothbrush and contain LED (light emitting diode) light sources. They are extremely simple to use and setup. Some require a simple USB plug, while others can transmit the images wirelessly, which means a single camera can be easily switched between multiple rooms making them extremely cost effective.
Cameras are an excellent way to document the condition of the tooth. They provide immediate high resolution images and can be easily used to educate a patient about their dental condition. Most patients cannot ‘read’ an x-ray which can make it difficult to explain the problem or to get them to understand the need for treatment options that are more costly. Photos are better at showing problems like buccal or lingual decay or fractures that don’t always show up easily in an x-ray. When showing the patient a photo that clearly shows the problem, acceptance of the need for treatment becomes easier.
Photos can be taken throughout the entire treatment process so the patient can see the changes over time. Taking a picture of your final results is an easier way to show the patient the end result than handing them a mirror. Having a final photo of your work can come in handy should problems arise with the work years later.