A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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The intraoral camera was introduced in 1989 and has come a long way since its introduction. In the beginning, the resolution wasn’t great by any means, and they weren’t user-friendly. Today, with improved technology, intraoral cameras should be an integral part of the patient appointment.

LED lighting, small wand size, and improved software have made the intraoral camera easy to use and accurate. Most can zoom into an image at least 100 times making the images they produce crucial for properly diagnosing and patient education. Examining the mouth with a small dental mirror is essential, but incorporating the camera makes it possible to see the most remote areas. Additionally, by placing the image on a computer screen, the patient can see what their mouth looks like and where the breakdown is occurring.

The intraoral images are also beneficial in sending information to the patient’s insurance company.The images can be emailed to the insurance company which increases the probability of quick processing and optimal payment. Radiographs are an important piece of documentation for the insurance company, but including the actual images of the tooth is an excellent way to maximize the patient's benefits.

Not only can you show the patient a broken tooth, but you can also show them: Gingival Inflammation and bleeding, filling breakdown, plaque and calculus build-up, and decay. When a patient can see their mouth magnified on a computer screen, they can see why treatment is necessary and be more likely to consent. Using the camera takes some patience and practice, but it is worth the extra time and effort in enhancing the patient’s dental health.

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