Tips to take dental photos enhancing the quality of your work
Dental photos will always be useful at a dentist cabinet. Today, there are four main reasons to have your cases photographed:
Documentation: pre and post treatment photography
Referrals: whether you receive a new patient with a dental history or should you need to refer your patient, and work, to another doctor; the photos will expose your case
Education & Research
Communication: there are many occasions when a dentist will need dental photos
To show dental technicians different shapes, shades and color
For insurance companies and legal procedures
With the special collaboration of Prof. Göran Urde, from the University of Malmö, you will find below a compiled list of tips that will certainly help you take quality photos, enhancing your work and seeing your dental photos with new eyes.
5 Dental photos basic tips
Get the maximum amount of light available in the room, including the operating lamp for intra oral photos
Avoid brightness and shades by adjusting the lights and angles
Highlight the center of the image, putting the source of light in the middle of your target thanks to the flash pointer
Always use flash
When available, use point source flash to enhance the image and avoir flat photos
Extra oral photos
Patient in front of neutral background
Camera in vertical position
Place yourself one meter away from the patient
Straight angle, positioning your flash at “12 o’clock" and avoiding daylight if too strong as this will create more shadows
Flash pointing to the nose
Turn head 45° from your reference point (a wall for example)
Shot along occlusal plane
Intra oral photos
Place patient in dental chair
Adapt your angle: move the camera and/or patient according to your needs
Use operating light from far away and with minimum brightness to have optimum results
Maximize the light in the room.
Ask for help,the hygienist can help you to fix instruments at get the perfect set, avoiding blood
Avoid showing fingers in the photos, help yourself as much as possible with the lip retractors
Use large lip retractor as it will wider image, contrary to the small lip retractor which will narrow it.
Use a small lip retractor closest to camera
Use a mirror and place the patient to get the perfect shot. Ask the patient to assist you by holding the mirror to avoid movement
Use 2 lip retractors, here again the hygienist can assist
When shooting the lower Jaw, the patient have to put his/her tongue in the palate to give more space
Flash position at “3 or 9 o’clock”
There is only one main tip when photographing teeth, use a black background. This will give you a cleaner shot and call attention only to the teeth.
Dental photography by Nyoba Meneh - Cacosdafap
Photos and content was provided by Dr Göran Urde, in collaboration with Sigvard Åkerman, Hans Herrlander, Nina Lundegren and Jan Mieziewski. University of Malmö (November, 2018).