Dental imagery is a field that has grown and advanced immensely in the last few decades. Dental photographs offer your dentist a chance at seeing beyond the physical shape and appearance of your teeth; they can dive deeper into internal issues and conditions. The high-resolution pictures that result from dental photography are unlike anything a dentist can see with their naked eye — plus, by capturing permanent images, it’s easier for them to examine your teeth without constantly having their fingers or instruments in your mouth.
There are several reasons why your dentist may capture dental photographs. First off, these photographs are a great way to provide you — the patient — with a more clear, objective view of your teeth and conditions. It can be tough visualizing what’s going on in your own mouth. Dental imagery gives you an opportunity to see from the viewpoint of a small camera that can get into the crevices of your mouth, and project that perspective onto a large LED screen where you can see things properly. Photographs help you better understand your own oral health status. As for your dental care team, dental imaging gives them a chance to assess you appropriately, provide a diagnosis, and build a treatment plan that will specifically address your dental conditions — accurately and effectively. Later on, your dentist can even go back and compare your current teeth to your past teeth, to show you how things have improved or changed over time. This provides you and them with a great foundational overview of your dental health at any moment in time. These images will also help should they need to communicate your situation to another office, insurance team, or a separate healthcare provider; pictures really do speak a thousand words.
Dental imaging is an entirely painless process. You will likely be comfortably seated in a dental chair, or perhaps standing. Some images may be taken with the camera inside your mouth — intraorally — or outside of your mouth, maybe around your jaw or cheeks — extraorally. Either way, the capturing of dental images does not take much time, and only requires you to move this way or that, or hold a certain pose, so that the imaging equipment can capture the necessary angles or perspectives on your teeth, gums, and or jaw. Overall, dental photography is super common these days because it’s noninvasive, not particularly expensive, and quick. It helps your dentist find and address problems before they become insurmountable and can truly improve the quality of your care and treatment. By including dental imaging in your routine dental care plan, you will save time and money in the long run by helping your dentist resolve your conditions early on.