by Dr Melisa Wu, Dentistry on Unley, Hyde Park, SA
I use the Schick intraoral camera with most procedures—everything from standard examinations to reviewing surgical sites and monitoring lesions. It’s a fast and efficient way of documenting exactly what’s happening in the mouth.
What’s good about it
I take a lot of before-and-after photos as they really help to build patient trust. Patients appreciate seeing the results after the work is complete. Sometimes I’ll stop and take photos during a procedure to help them understand their dental problems. When a patient can actually see caries or a crack, it aids in their acceptance of the required procedure.
Our practice is set up with multiple screens that show images to the patient. I generally sit them upright and go through the photos, explaining exactly what’s going on. I’ll also take a moment at the end of the appointment to show them what I’ve done. After all, the end result is the reason they’re paying the bill.
The best thing about this camera is that it’s extremely lightweight. It’s so streamlined that it gives the operator greater control and the autofocus is as good as more expensive models. We also use software that allows the camera to capture videos. This is handy in demonstrating cracks, which can be difficult to capture in still photos.
What’s not so good
The fact that the camera is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre is also its weakness. The casing is made of plastic and can be fragile. If it’s dropped—and accidents do happen—the casing tends to lose its waterproofing. Once this happens, condensation forms inside the camera and the image quality decreases. Our practice has six Schick cameras and we’ve exchanged all of them over a five-year period. Fortunately, Sirona has been accommodating in repairs and replacements.