A picture is worth a thousand words

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patient communication

This article is sponsored content brought to you by Dentsply Sirona.

Dentists and dental hygienists have been using intra-oral cameras for many years. Not only are they an excellent tool for capturing information, they’re also one of the most effective ways to communicate with patients. 

For any dentist, explaining to a patient what is going on in their mouth is challenging to say the least. No matter how good a communicator a practitioner is—and some are better than others—there is the fundamental problem of using the imperfect tool of language to describe something visual. This is where intra-oral cameras can make a huge difference. Instead of trying to describe a diagnosis in words, the dentist shows the patient the images from the intra-oral camera. 

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If your current treatment centre doesn’t have an intra-oral camera and medical grade monitor integrated into it, like many current models do, you don’t need to invest in a new treatment centre. Intra-oral cameras are available as a stand-alone system that can be moved from room to room—very useful for a practice which houses multiple practitioners.

When it comes to explaining findings to a patient, intra-oral cameras can be combined with other technologies such as 2D and 3D X-ray images to provide additional support for the diagnosis.  By displaying integrated intra-oral camera and X-ray images instantly on an integrated treatment centre monitor, the dental practice team can show the patient all the diagnostic images as well as case notes on a single screen. 

To provide a real-world example, a cracked tooth can be photographed, X-rayed and printed, or emailed for the patient to take home and discuss with family or partner. The decision making can then take place in a familiar environment, allowing the patient to review and discuss findings in more detail. The result of this process is that patients will feel more confident about accepting a treatment because they fully understand the causes of the problem and the procedures needed to correct the problem.

Apart from patient communication the monitor can be used to relax or distract patients by playing music or patient education videos. This helps keep the practice team’s workflow to a minimum.

Dentists aren’t the only practitioner that will benefit from using intra-oral cameras. Dental hygienists can use a camera to show before and after images to a patient as they explain dental problems and their likely causes to the patient. Displaying the before and after result of a scale and clean—especially on the lingual surface of the lower anteriors or the buccal surface of the upper posteriors—can be shocking, but the image shows the patient of what their teeth should look like when they are cleaned correctly. Doing this helps the patient to understand the problem better and encourages them to take action and responsibility for their own dental health.

Dentsply Sirona treatment centres offer integrated camera and monitor solutions on all models in the range. By connecting an intra-oral camera to SIDEXIS, Dentsply Sirona’s 2D and 3D X-ray Software, practitioners will have all the information required to explain the required treatment to a patient.

The autofocus intra-oral cameras SIROCAM AF and AF+ on treatment centres enable a focal range of images from face shots for patient files, anatomical images (including intra-oral liaisons, smile lines, crown and bridge work) to single tooth and macro. Both models give amazing detail on images.

ABOUT DENTSPLY SIRONA

Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with a 130-year history of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world class brands. As The Dental Solutions Company, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dentistry.  

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