Going to the dentist means hearing about, seeing, and experiencing various tools that aren’t familiar to most people. These tools are odd-looking and can cause individuals some anxiety, however, the intraoral camera isn’t a tool to be nervous about.
WHAT IS AN INTRAORAL CAMERA?
Your dentist uses an intraoral camera to examine your mouth in a detailed manner. The tool, which looks like an oversized pen with a camera attached, takes high-resolution images or footage of your mouth and shows the dentist's visuals on a monitor in real-time.
Benefits of an Intraoral Camera
There are various benefits of these instruments, including:
1. Early Oral Health Problem Detection
A big reason for anxiety in people going to the dentist is fear of pain. Often dental procedures can be painful and could span over several sessions, particularly if your problem is an advanced stage.
If a dental disease or tooth decay is detected early, you could receive treatments that are:
- Less expensive
- Less invasive
- Less time-consuming
The intraoral camera works great for detecting early-stage dental health issues when they’re not noticeable to the naked eye. When it comes to dental problems, any tooth decay or disease becomes advanced when it reaches the root or pulp of your tooth. Before the issue reaches this advanced level, the procedure not only causes less pain, but it’s easier to treat.
2. Improves the Advised Treatment’s Accuracy
The intraoral camera comes equipped with advanced technological features. It has a 0 to 90 degree-rotating head and LED lighting for better visibility. It also has strong magnifying capabilities (with some cameras even able to zoom up to 100x). Features like these help your dentist diagnose problems with teeth more accurately and advise treatment.
The camera helps track difficult-to-find issues in the mouth like vertical fractures and pulp exposures. Now, the dentist can provide an early diagnosis based mainly on a conventional microscope with absolute surety. When diagnosing the issue, both the patient and the dentist can better discuss the issue and come up with a better understanding of its treatment.
3. Improved Dentist-Patient Relation
The intraoral camera is much more than a simple diagnostic apparatus. It also helps educate the patient. Dentists in the past had challenges trying to explain the seriousness and extent of dental problems and their reason behind the treatment option they chose. Patients had to blindly trust what the dentist said and agree to treatment. When patients aren’t clear and accepting of the dental issue, their trust stems primarily from lack of choice.
With intraoral cameras, dentists can now show enlarged, live images of the dental issues to the patient, helping provide them with a more clear understanding of the issue and the reason behind the treatment option they choose. It helps reduce anxiety and establishes a trusting dentist/patient relationship.
Ease of use and image quality of intraoral cameras have tremendously improved over the years. Most are now ergonomically and very slim designed handpieces that can capture images quickly with a single button. Others might require clicking on an icon on the computer screen to capture the desired images.