When I was in New York for my dental residency, I took my car to an autoshop. The technician examined my car and then came out to meet me. But instead of explaining the problem to me in the waiting area, he invited me back into the shop where my car was up on a lift. Then he took me under the car and showed me what was wrong. Wow! That made the difference for me! I know very little about cars but being able to see the problem helped me know that it needed to be fixed. Since that experience, I have been trying to do the same thing for my patients. It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, and oftentimes, when I show a patient an x-ray or picture of their tooth, it helps them understand the problem, as well as to understand the options for fixing it.
Three things that I love about digital x-rays: 1) There is no lag time to develop them — they can be viewed immediately. 2) Patients can see them on a screen (we use I-pads for this purpose). 3) The radiation needed to expose them is about 20% that of traditional film.
An intraoral camera is a small camera that goes inside the mouth to take photos. This camera works great for taking large, clear pictures of single teeth.
We just started taking these in the past year for new patient exams. I have found that using this type of photo is very helpful for patient education. It’s easier for the patient to see the “big picture” and to understand some of the treatment options better. If you are an existing patient and would like this done for you, just let us know when you schedule your next appointment and we can schedule extra time for this. This is a complementary service.