Photography is becoming more important in the dental sector, as it is a very useful method for saving an illustrative clinical history of the patient, facilitating future consultations about past treatments. In turn, through an imaging schedule, the patient can see the progress of a treatment from different visual perspectives.
In the following blog article, we will tell you how you can take advantage of your smartphone to include photographic material in your consultations. You want to see? Well, keep reading!
Use your smartphone for dental photography
Not all dental clinics have a camera, so many dentists use their own smartphone to take dental photographs. This practice has multiple advantages over digital cameras. For example:
- Smartphones have a small aperture due to its small size and diaphragm, achieving a wide field of view regularly.
- Good ISO range. That is, a greater sensitivity to light with little noise.
- Good resolution when it comes to showing details.
- Wide monitor for previewing and viewing images.
- White balance, expansion, focus, ISO, size and shutter speed are requirements for photography, which the latest generation phones more than meet.
- And if you aren't comfortable adjusting with these settings, mobiles have an automatic option for your peace of mind.
That being said, it's time to get to work. Keep in mind that to get a good photographic schedule of the patient's treatments, you must take preoperative and postoperative photographs. In both cases, these photographs must be intraoral and extraoral placing the patient in front and in profile, to see the changes produced in both parts of the mouth.
Taking them with your smartphone will not only allow you to carry out this procedure quickly but also have the date and time for a more precise record.
How can I get quality dental photos?
Very simple, here are some tips to get intraoral and extraoral photographs taken with your Smartphone like a professional:
- First of all, we will need lip retractors to hold the lips so that they do not appear in the image. These will be placed at about 45º.
- Then, we will proceed to disinfect the smartphone to avoid possible infections that could be transmitted to the patient
- Then, we placed a straight opaque retractor in the patient's oral cavity. This will prevent the tongue from obstructing the image and creating reflections and bad contrasts. This opaque retractor will also be used as a base for holding the smartphone, always forming a 45º angle.
- Regarding luminosity, you can use the light from the lamp which is integrated into the dental chair. It is not appropriate that the light to be used is the one directly given off by the lamp. The ideal would be to diffuse that light to lower its intensity, so that no shadows are produced and the image does not burn. One of the ways to achieve this is by placing a cloth or white material over the lamp as a light filter.
Another way to achieve this luminosity, if you do not have a cloth to place on the lamp, is with the use of white paper or a bag made of plastic which is easier to place
- The placement of the light is an important factor for the quality of the photographs, since it cannot be placed in just any position.
- Do not position yourself below the lamp otherwise you will remove lighting from the image or create shadows. It is best to stand to the side to take the picture.
- Place the lamp on top of the patient at about 90º to get more texture in the image
- Remove debris such as plaque, stones, blood, etc.
- Remove excess cement.
If you do not want to use the dental chair lamp for taking pictures, you can also use an LED ring flash for your mobile phone. The LED is energy efficient, in addition to the fact that the color temperature it provides usually coincides with a correct white balance. That is, the colors of the image will look very similar to reality.
- Once the previous steps have been completed, it is time to take the picture. If you have the “locked focus” or "spot focus" function on your mobile phone, simply place the camera lens where you want to get an image and touch the screen where you want it to be more focused and come out with more details. With this you make your photography sharper!
Extraoral photographs are taken in portrait mode. With them you can see how the bite affects the morphology of the face.
Here is a list of information to take into account when taking these dental photographs:
- The patient must have a complete natural smile.
- The nose should be in the center of the image.
- Special care must be taken so that no shadows appear on the wall where the photo is taken.
- The background should be a neutral color, preferably white.
- Place the patient about 50-60 cm in front of the lens to reduce shadowing.
- Place the smartphone at the level of the patient's eyes.
Revolutionize your dental clinic in a single click
Incorporating dental photographs into your treatments will not only give you more tools to work with your patients, but it will also provide you with content for any marketing work you want to carry out in your clinic.
The excuse of not having a professional camera has expired. Your best tool is at your fingertips and will serve you in countless situations
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