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.
The intraoral cameras designed for use in dental facilities come with disposable probes or probe covers to ensure that germs are not passed between patients, and they may come with a variety of options which enhance the functionality of the camera. Versions designed for home use are usually much more basic, but they can still be useful for people who want to see the inside of the mouth. Using a camera at home, someone can identify an issue which requires a dentist’s attention, keep an eye on a recovering surgical site, or teach children about the importance of oral hygiene.
One of the primary uses for an intraoral camera is in patient education. Dentists often find it helpful to be able to show patients exactly what is going on inside their mouths, and to highlight areas where medical attention may be needed. Patients are also less likely to defer or refuse procedures when they can clearly see the area at issue, as some people are suspicious of recommendations for dental procedures, due to concerns about cost, potential pain, or the fears about members of the dental profession.
In addition to being used in patient education, such cameras can also be used to take clear visual records for patient files, and to generate material which can be used in consultations and discussions with other dental providers. For example, a general dentist might use an intraoral camera to take images of a tooth or area of the jaw which requires oral surgery so that a maxillofacial surgeon can examine the information before he or she meets the patient to get an idea of the kind of surgery which might be required.
Images taken by an wireless intraoral camera can also be reviewed later, which can be useful for a dentist who feels a nagging suspicion that something is not quite right in the mouth of a patient. The intraoral camera can also be used to document procedures for legal and educational reasons, and to create projections of a patient’s mouth which can be used in medical schools for the purpose of educating future dentists about various issues which pertain to oral health.
The intra-oral 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.