Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
by Dr Ian Hedley, Oatley Family Dental, NSW
I use the Panasonic intraoral camera all day, every day on every patient. It’s part of my medical records, which are medico-legally very important. I take full mouth pictures of all new patients, returning check-up and cleans, and during procedures.
What’s good about it
Showing patients what’s going in their mouth is a game changer. Instead of having to describe a cracked tooth or decay or a failing restoration, I can just take a picture and blow it up on the big screen. We then have a discussion about the pros and cons of doing something or doing nothing.
It makes my job much easier because, basically, the patients diagnose themselves. If I tell them a back molar has a hairline crack and it might break, they have no visual reference and can just decide to live with it. If I blow it up on the big screen, point out that it could break or that the tooth may need to be removed, they are much more open to options. When I tell them we can protect it by putting on a crown, the acceptance rate is very high.
The Panasonic unit has an inbuilt LED light and is operated by one click of a button. It also has a video function if required. Our practice uses Romexis software and the camera is linked to that. It automatically saves all images to the patient’s files where it can be reviewed or used for any future medico-legal issue that may arise.
What’s not so good
The camera is used with a protective plastic screen for hygiene purposes. If the screen isn’t sitting flush and tight or a drop of moisture gets under it, then the images don’t have enough clarity.