Dental Photography: Is Your Dentist Using It?
At Peak Dental Arts Patient Education is one of our top priorities. In order to help us achieve this, we rely heavily on dental photography. This doesn’t mean your typical dental X-rays, which are crucial in helping us diagnose dental disease, but rather high def photos taken with our DSLR. We believe in it so strongly that we do it free of charge for every single patient that walks through the door. In this blog, we’re going to go over why this should be the standard of care at every dental office and how it greatly benefits our patients.
First, it allows us to keep track of all those slow changing processes that occur in our mouths. Conditions like tooth wear from grinding, gum recession, tooth movement and various oral diseases are incredibly hard to keep track of by memorizing our patient’s teeth, however, become simple to keep track of with a base set of photos. These conditions often occur slowly (in most cases) and therefore become even harder to track without photography. Getting a baseline of where you’re at today is absolutely critical in helping us achieve our main goal at Peak Dental Arts: Helping you keep your teeth for a lifetime. For example, if we can catch gum recession or tooth wear progressing in their early stages it gives us a much better chance of fulfilling that goal.
Second, it lets us give you a tour of your own mouth. Trust me, you’ve never seen your teeth like this! With our Canon T6 Rebel and 100mm macro lens with dual flash we are able to capture the highest quality of images. Although the photos are compressed when uploaded into your chart, we keep a back up of your photos in their RAW state. This takes effort and tons of hard drive space however we are committed to the absolute best quality for our patients in every sense. Plus, it’s a lot easier to see why you might need treatment when we can show you exactly what we see. Again, helping us achieve our overarching goal of longevity and prevention.
Third, we take photos mid-procedure to show you exactly why we’ve recommended the treatment we are performing. For far too long dentistry has been a bit of a mystery in the eyes of a patient. You come in, open up for 30 minutes and leave not really knowing what the appointment was for. We are hoping to change that through the use of photography. If it’s a simple filling, we’ll often take a photo of the cavity once it’s exposed. In this example, you can see how it would build value and trust during your appointment and often times when you see the brown/black spot that’s been hiding in your tooth you’ll be thankful for visiting the dentist! What a change that would be. 😃
With all these benefits it’s hard to explain why your dentist might not be using photography. It’s simply better. That being said, some of our very anxious patients would rather not see them, in this case, we will still take them for our own records (unless explicitly denied) and will not show them to you or anyone else. If that sounds like you, please let us know! If not, come on in and learn more about your mouth so that you can make the best decisions for yourself. Our goal is not to tell you what needs to be done, alternatively, it is to educate you as much as possible, show you the options for treatment and together come up with the best plan that suits you. Come in and see what it’s all about!
– Dr. Omar Virani