The latest technology in dentistry is giving patients an inside look at their teeth and a better image and understanding of the state of their dental health.
The intraoral camera, now used by some dentists, allows patients to see their teeth up close and in color, using a pencil-sized wand with a tiny lens that can be pointed to any area in the mouth. The dentist can zoom in for close-ups and can take snapshots that can be discussed with the patient. Procedures can even be videotaped and later shown to the patient.
"Intraoral cameras definitely improve communication between the dentist and the patient," says Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Paul Bussman, DMD. "Before, all the dentist could do visually was to use a light and a mirror to show a patient what was wrong. Now, we can take before-and-after shots for patients to compare, and we can even print a color image that you can take home," says Dr. Bussman.
Dr. Bussman reports that an added benefit of the intraoral camera is the way it inspires children to become more interested in their dental care. "Kids are much more relaxed about a procedure when they can see images of the treatment area first and get to take home pictures of their mouth to show family and friends."
Reviewed: January 2012