An intraoral camera is a camera which is designed to be used in the mouth for the purpose of taking video or still photography. These cameras are most commonly used in dental offices, although patients can also use them at home to monitor dental health or to satisfy curiosity about what the inside of the mouth looks like. Several firms specialize in producing intraoral cameras and accessories, and others make adapters which can be used with conventional cameras so that they can be used in the mouth.
The intraoral camera is not just a diagnostic tool, but it also serves as an educational one too. In the past, dentists have struggled to explain dental decay and other health problems to patients. Most people cannot see well into their own mouths, which leaves dentists to drawing diagrams or using props to attempt to explain what is going on in the mouth of their patients.
With the intraoral camera, however, the patient sees exactly what the dentist sees on an in-office screen. If necessary, the dentist can pause on a particular tooth or area of the mouth to point out problems and explain possible treatment options. This also frees the patient to ask questions and become a part of the examination process. When dentists can point out specific places on the actual teeth that are decaying, patients may have a better idea of how home hygiene practices and brushing techniques are affecting them.
The intraoral camera makes record keeping a breeze. Because the camera can take pictures of decay or the beginnings of oral health conditions, images can be printed and placed into patient files. Previously, dentists merely attempted to write an explanation of problems found during exams. Now, dentists can accurately track the progress of treatments or problems for years following a visit. Furthermore, patients can receive printed pictures of the conditions the dentist finds, which may be beneficial for filing insurance claims.
The intra-oral camera makes going to the dentist easier for both the patient and the dental health provider. Offices that use intra-oral cameras allow patients to be more interactive in the exam process, which provides patients with a greater sense of understanding and responsibility about personal dental health. Although a traditional visual inspection of the teeth may have sufficed in the past, technology has made it possible for dentists and patients to reap many more benefits from each health exam.