by Dr Julie Ghaly, Dentistry in Canterbury, VIC
I use this camera with every examination and check-up appointment. I do a physical examination, make notes of what I’ve noticed in the patient’s mouth, take some X-rays and at the end of the appointment, I’ll take some photos.
What’s good about it
I take a number of different shots with the camera—smiling, biting, a side view and photos of the top and bottom teeth. I then upload those onto our computer and sit the patient up to help explain what I’ve found in their mouth. The camera is predominately used as an educational tool and as most people are not used to seeing their teeth so blown-up in size, patients are often shocked at the state of their teeth.
It’s fantastic for explaining things like a cracked tooth. I can talk about it at length but until they actually see what I’m talking about, it doesn’t really hit home.
The camera helps in the uptake of procedures and recommendations. A patient may be grinding their teeth but refuses to acknowledge the fact. I just take a series of photos at their six-month check-up and compare them in six months’ time. That patient can see new cracks, and larger areas of worn enamel. Usually, they will agree to treatment at this point.
I also use the camera for cosmetic cases, taking before and after photos for whitening, veneers, crowns or any other cosmetic work. The photos are also useful for communicating with the lab to get the details just right.
What’s not so good
There is a steep learning curve to produce clear, high-quality photos. I signed up for an introductory course about photography that was run by Ted’s Cameras. Using the camera also adds time to your appointments. Our check-ups have gone from 40 minutes to an hour in order to include photography and explanations. Despite this, it’s definitely worth it.