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Scott Cairns, DDS, recently wrote a piece on the benefits of digital dentistry for the site Dental Economics. The following is an excerpt.
There are many reasons to use photography in dentistry, but virtually all of them center on communication. Most people think they are above-average communicators, and many are wrong. This is because we use words. Every person who hears a word filters it through his or her experience and imagines a unique image. How often do the stories we tell about the mouth lead patients to different images than what we intended?
The late Henry Tanner, DDS, was known to tell his students at the Pankey Institute, “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” How often is this same scenario playing out with our patients? It may seem minor, but we are missing out on an opportunity. Three simple steps can help each of us to enhance our practices through dental photography.
Choose The Right Equipment
We should also consider what type of photography is being used in our practices. Most dentists use intraoral cameras. Although the intraoral camera is a wonderful tool, it has limitations. Think about most of the photos that are taken with the intraoral camera. The pictures are typically blurry, foggy, and obscured by cheeks, gums, and saliva. It is often hard to tell what the subject of the photograph is and where in the mouth you are looking. Why do we allow this to be the case?
Using enhanced digital photography makes a remarkable difference in our ability to tell a good story. A little research can help us determine which equipment options may best suit the needs of our practice. It might help to group these options into categories:
- Good-Smartphone accessories, which can enhance a smartphone’s photography capabilities for dental images
- Better-Point-and-shoot digital camera with macro lens and diffuser
- Best-Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera with macro lens and multiple flash options
From here, the pros and cons of each type of photography can be considered, including a comparison of specific models in each category.
To read more, please visit DentalEconomics.com
Scott Cairns, DDS, is a graduate of the Creighton University School of Dentistry and has been practicing dentistry since 1999. He is an owner-dentist with multiple offices supported by Pacific Dental Services and a faculty member for the PDS Institute. Dr. Cairns is an author and speaker in the subject areas of dental photography and occlusion. He resides in Colorado with his wife and three daughters and can be reached at [email protected].
For Further Information
More on the dental operatory equipment market in the US can be found in a reports published by iData entitled the US Market for Dental Operatory Equipment. The market segments covered in this report includes dental treatment centers, dental cabinetry, dental handpieces, curing lights, ultrasonic scalers, intraoral cameras, dental autoclaves, suction systems, dental air compressors, dental management software, caries detection devices, and dental microscopes.
Full reports also provide a comprehensive analysis including units sold, procedure numbers, market value, forecasts, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analysis of major players’ success strategies in each market and segment. To find out more about dental operatory equipment market data or procedure data, register online or email us at [email protected] for a US Market for Dental Operatory Equipment report series brochure and synopsis.
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