Intraoral cameras are changing the face of routine dental appointments. The intraoral camera gives the patient a unique view of each tooth - enabling them to understand diagnoses and make informed treatment decisions.
The intraoral camera is connected to the computer in the dental operatory. A pen-sized wand is inserted into the mouth, and a movie of the patient’s mouth is created. This movie can be magnified to allow every aspect of the teeth, gums and oral cavity to be viewed in full color. The intraoral camera is an incredibly valuable tool, which brings dentistry to life.
How can the intraoral camera help?
Utilizing intraoral cameras is a completely comfortable process for patients. Here are some of an intraoral camera’s main uses:
- Dental education – Education and preventive care are highly important in dentistry. The intraoral camera can expose areas where home hygiene may be deficient. Any problems can then be resolved before complicated treatments are required.
- Exposing hidden problems – Conditions like gum disease and oral cancer may display easy-to-miss symptoms in their earliest stages. The intraoral camera can more clearly highlight these issues to the dentist and the patient.
- Treatment planning – No matter how well a dentist might describe a condition, it is easier to understand the issue if it can be seen. Seeing tooth decay and problem teeth helps patients understand why certain treatments are recommended for maximum health benefit and aesthetics.
- Assessing progress – Some treatments impact the teeth slowly. The intraoral camera allows treatment to be modified along the way, if necessary, to ensure the desired results are achieved.
- Eliminating uncertainty – One of the most common patient concerns is not being able to see the condition that needs to be addressed. The intraoral camera highlights problem areas, so that individuals are less likely to refuse necessary treatment.
- Referrals to specialists – On occasion, a patient may need to be referred to a specialist for more complex treatment. If the specialist is able to view clear images of the teeth in advance, communication of treatment goals is improved.
How will the intraoral camera be used?
The intraoral camera is the size and shape of a pen. The slim wand is inserted into the mouth and rotated until clear pictures of the teeth or areas of concern can be recorded. The images appear on the computer screen and are stored within the patient’s chart. The images of individual areas can be magnified to allow the dentist to explain and explore any noticeable problems. One of the biggest advantages of the intraoral camera is it does not expose patients to radiation. The intraoral camera is one of the most useful and versatile diagnostic tools available.