An intraoral camera is a tiny video camera that allows dental practitioners to take images of the patient’s mouth, teeth, and gums. It looks like a large pen that dentists insert in the patient’s mouth and move it around so images of all parts can be taken and viewed on a monitor or a computer screen.
Intraoral cameras help in the diagnosis of several dental conditions such as decayed and cracked teeth. They also help dentists explain the oral issues to patients with the help of the images taken. Dentists can use this tool to show their patients, in real-time, the condition of their mouth.
How Does It Work?
The tip of the intraoral camera is fitted with a tiny lens. The camera is connected to the dentist’s computer, and as the dentist moves it inside the mouth, it captures images, which are transferred to the computer for being viewed by the dentist and the patient. These cameras come with zooming capabilities and produce clear images.
Modern intraoral cameras allow dentists to freeze certain shots (without shadows and distortions) to study them closely. The images can be unfrozen, enlarged, organized, and used for future reference or deleted. While extraoral cameras have been around, intraoral cameras trounce them with their superior image quality, better speed, and ease of use. A lot of functions can be automated in intraoral cameras, which saves the dentist’s and the patient’s time and effort.
Why Dentists Need Intraoral Cameras?
Apart from the above-stated advantages of using intraoral cameras, dentists stand to benefit from using them in the following ways:
1) For an Impactful First Appointment
More often than not, patients are scared and confused when they visit a dentist’s clinic for the first time. Availing family dental care is like a distant dream for them. With the help of an intraoral camera, however, dentists can allay these fears, making patients comfortable and turning them into loyal clients.
During the first appointment, dentists (or members of the dental care team) can spend a few minutes showing patients the condition of their mouth, so they can see for themselves that they need treatment. Whether it is examining cavities, plaque, tooth decay or gum disease, they can be shown to patients for them to believe that there is, in fact, a problem. This helps dentists gain their confidence.
2) Helps in Early Detection of Oral Issues
Several dental procedures, especially those that span a number of sessions, are infamous for causing pain due to having reached an advanced stage. However, if these issues are detected early, the treatment is shorter and less painful.
Intraoral cameras can help in detecting oral issues at an early stage, even when they may not be visible to the naked eye. Teeth-related issues become serious only when the decay reaches their root/pulp. This can be easily prevented by introducing intraoral cameras in the diagnosis stage. Dentists can thus provide better dental care services.
3) Enables Better Case Acceptance
Intraoral cameras are excellent tools when it comes to educating patients about their oral issues. Many a time, dentists have a hard time explaining the gravity of the dental situations to patients, while patients struggle to make sense of jargon that dentists use. As a result, they feel unconvinced and anxious about the treatment plan, and may not be able to establish a trustworthy relationship with the dentist.
However, when dentists are able to show enlarged images of the mouth to patients and explain the issues while they clearly see them in front of their eyes, they begin to trust the dentists’ diagnosis. They can then agree upon a treatment plan.
Dentists at the Miami family dental care agree with this when they say, “The intraoral camera makes it possible for our staff to actually view the inside of your mouth while planning treatments and during procedures. With this camera, we can see your teeth displayed on a video screen and walk you through the procedure. As a result, our staff is able to work with you as a team to plan and meet your dental health care goals.”
4) Provides Better Understanding of Advised Treatment
Intraoral cameras come with features that enable dentists to examine every part of the mouth. They come with rotating heads with LED lighting for better visibility. They also have strong magnifying capabilities, which allow dentists to examine every tooth and discover hidden problems in the mouth.
Further, when diagnosing the problem, dentists and patients are able to discuss it better and arrive at a better understanding of the treatment.
5) Increases Dentist’s Credibility
Patients will always prefer to engage a dentist they trust. After all, their oral health is in their dental practitioner’s hands. They will always prefer a dentist who not only knows about dental issues, procedures, and the latest dental technologies, but also one who is easily accessible with an impressive reputation in his/her vicinity.
For example, a dental implant patient from Miami, FL will prefer getting his/her dental implants in Miami from an experienced local dentist, then travel far and wide.
Similarly, a dentist who maintains transparency in his diagnosis and treatment will always have patients thronging his/her clinic. Intraoral cameras can be helpful here. Their use can be highly instrumental in increasing the dentist’s credibility.
6) Makes Insurance Claims Easier
A lot of dental patients do have insurance cover for medical treatments. However, in order to claim it, insurance companies ask for a clear explanation of the problem and the treatment procedure. Images taken with intraoral cameras can come handy here as they can provide the appropriate evidence needed to support a patient’s case. This, in turn, saves the patient and the insurance company a lot of hassle.
Patients can trust their dental care provider only if they have unhindered access to the case details. They want to ensure that their money is being spent on authentic diagnosis and treatment. Intraoral cameras make both these scenarios possible. Investing in a high-quality intraoral camera is a must for modern dentists if they want to earn patients’ trust and keep their own credibility intact. It is an important piece of equipment that all dental offices should be equipped with.