What Is an Intraoral Camera?
Best described as an effective tool used by dentists to communicate and educate their patients, intraoral cameras are essentially tiny digital cameras that enable dentists to capture images of difficult-to-reach areas in the mouth. They can easily go inside the mouth and capture digital images inside it. They are powerful tools to effectively find out teeth problems hidden even in the most troublesome areas of the mouth.
The camera looks like a writing pen that, when moved around inside the mouth, allows the practitioner to see detailed, enlarged images of teeth surfaces, gum conditions, and other minute detail about tissues, cavities, etc. that cannot be seen by the naked eye. An intraoral camera does not cause any pain or discomfort to the patient and has no side effects. It captures clear video and images of the corroded or tarnished fillings, hairline fractures, bleeding gums, plaque, and several other critical teeth problems in real-time, while the patient is comfortably seated in the dental chair
Besides the obvious advantages, here are a few crucial benefits of an intraoral camera that makes it indispensable to modern-day dentistry.
1) Early Detection of Oral Health Problems
One of the biggest reasons for anxiety in dental patients is the fear of pain. Dental procedures are mostly quite painful and span over a number of sessions, especially if the problem is in an advanced stage.
If a tooth decay or a dental disease is detected early, the advised treatments are less invasive, expensive and time-consuming. An intraoral camera works perfectly in detecting dental health problems at an early stage, when they are not visible to the naked eye. In dentistry, any disease or tooth decay becomes major when it reaches the pulp or the root of the tooth. Before the problem reaches an advanced level, it is not only easier to treat, but the procedure is often less painful too.
2) Improved Patient-Doctor Relation
An intraoral camera is a lot more than just a diagnostic apparatus. It also serves as an educational tool for the patient. In the past, dentists have struggled with explaining the extent and seriousness of the dental problem and the reason behind the advised treatment to patients. Patients too had no option but to blindly trust the dentist and go ahead with the treatment. The patient-doctor relationship is always on the edge when there’s no clear understanding and acceptance of the problem, and the trust is mainly because of the lack of choice.
With intraoral camera, doctors are now able to show live, enlarged images of dental areas to the patient. It helps the patient in clearly understanding the problem and the reason behind the advised treatment. It aids in reducing anxiety and establishes a trustworthy relationship between the patient and the dentist.
3) Improves Accuracy of the Advised Treatment
An intraoral camera is loaded with advanced technological features. It comes with a head that rotates from 0 to 90 degrees and LED lighting for better visibility, and has strong magnifying abilities (with several cameras possessing zooming capabilities up to 100x), and more. These features help dentists to diagnose teeth problems accurately and advise treatment.
The camera helps in tracking hard-to-find problems in the mouth such as pulp exposures and vertical fractures. Earlier diagnosis that was based primarily on a conventional microscope can now be given with absolute surety. Also, while diagnosing the problem, both the dentist and the patient are able to discuss the problem and develop a better understanding of its treatment.
4) For Future Case Documentation
Intraoral camera helps immensely in documenting a patient’s case for future reference. In cases where the tooth decay problem is identified, the image from the initial stage can be captured, printed and filed in the patient’s casebook. These images can be used in future to compare the result of the treatment and more. Unlike the earlier times, when dentists used to write an explanation of the problem in the case file, they now have access to images and videos for reference. They can accurately track the progress and advice changes in the treatment.
5) Enhances Doctor’s Credibility
We live in times when consumers want access to complete details and enjoy absolute control over their financial decisions. Some patients want to be convinced before spending money. In such a scenario, an intraoral camera enhances dentist-patient engagement considerably.
With intraoral camera, dentists are able to show and explain problems in real-time to patients as well as advice the course of treatment. An intraoral camera improves the doctor-patient trust, and a happy patient is always beneficial for the credibility of a clinician. It aids in offering patient’s transparency and education along with the confidence of latest technological gadgets, thereby enabling them to happily trust the practitioner and refer others.
6) Better for Insurance Claims
On occasion, insurance companies need clarity of the problem and the treatment. Images captured through intraoral cameras offer visual proof to support insurance claims of patients. These high-resolution pictures bolster the patient’s case. Also, with almost immediate availability of images and videos, it saves a lot of time and hassle for both, the insured and the insurance company.
Intraoral cameras have revolutionized the world of dentistry. It has made dentists more accurate in their diagnosis and patients more accepting of the treatment advised. Understanding the reason for the treatment starts with accepting the fact that there is a problem. An intraoral camera is the best tool available to dentists through which they can show live images and videos of the problem areas and educate the patient about the dental illness. Using intraoral cameras is now a standard practice, and with technology advancing every passing day, this ground-breaking tool will only get better with time.
A faster and more comfortable experience for dental patients: 3Shape Trios scanner.
The patients that have been subjected to both the conventional impression technique and the digital technique experience a profound difference. The old molding technique is quite messy. The patient is forced to sit with a large rubber-like material in the mouth for fifteen minutes. Many patients choke, gag, and experience great discomfort. The digital technique is more comfortable since it scans the teeth, which only requires a few minutes of the patient’s time. It also allows for the possibility to show the patient a 3D-impression of their teeth on a screen, right after the impression has been made. Another positive aspect for the patient is, of course, a better looking and fitting end result. Restorations created from a completely digital process are delivered faster and with a more precise fit and fewer chairside adjustments.