Dentistry emerging through lens – World Photography Day!

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

August 22, 2019

The world today rotates around pictures. Social media and public forum pages are loaded with photographs. Pictures in the older times were clicked with the intention of catching hold of memories and connect us with our past.

Today the photography world depicts reality and its a way of expressing our feelings and emotions. Without photographs and pictures, it would be so difficult to prove the existence of so many things. They say what we see has more impact on our minds than what we hear. Images and videos are a huge part of the internet today as photographs are more attractive and catch the eye of the readers. 

Dental photography 

Dental photographyDental photography is the documentation of clinical images of the patient. Generally, imperfections are not visible to the patient easily. But with the help of photographs, the dentist can give a visual to the patient of his smile and oral condition.

Images accurately visualize the dental problems as well as the aesthetics of the patient’s teeth. So this way, the patient understands the reasoning behind the recommended treatment plan.

Dentists and healthcare companies can also use these images for other purposes such as social media marketing. But it is important to receive consent from the patient in writing as well as maintain patient confidentiality. 

Is dental photography easy?

You need knowledge of digital photography to decide on the suitable camera equipment for taking intraoral (inside the mouth) and extraoral photographs of the patient. The clinician can choose from a variety of systems including the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera which you can use professionally for documentation. 

What all do you need for practicing photography in dentistry?

Along with a camera system, the clinician uses a lot of accessories to get a perfect picture. 

Cheek retractors Cheek Retractors for Dental Photography

Cheek retractor to pull back the cheeks and lips of the patient so that the teeth are clearly visible without any obstruction. 

Mouth mirrors 

Mouth mirror is used to view the parts of the mouth which are not visible from outside such as the teeth at the very back of jaws. These capture the reflected images of the teeth and tissues. 


Airway syringe

To remove the fogginess that appears when the patient breathes through his mouth rather than the nose so that the pictures are more clear and minute details are recorded. 

Why is dental photography important?

  • It helps the patient to understand why he/she needs a certain treatment plan.
  • Photography makes it easier for the patient to compare ‘before’ and ‘after’ results, which increases patient satisfaction.
  • If the patient needs to see a consultant, the photographs help to communicate with other specialist dentists and doctors in case of any complicated procedures. 
  • Dental photographs are a useful part of patient records, just like X-rays and study models.

Clinicians use photography in almost all the specialties of dentistry, including restorative dentistry, orthodontics, prosthodontics and cosmetic dentistry.

Smile design is heavily dependent on ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs which increase the accuracy of the treatment. Additionally, we can store these photographs for documentation as well as use them to market the dental clinic or organization. 

Dental photography is a type of photography for which you need special skills and basic knowledge about the oral cavity. Dentists, dental assistants and even students can take this up as a profession with a minimal amount of training. 

Can photography in dentistry be taken up as a career option after B.D.S?

These days there are a lot of dental photography workshops which you can attend along with your own camera. Also, these workshops are very useful for budding dentists who want to step up their practice a notch or two. These are mostly one or two-day hands-on courses, where you learn to click photographs of the dental and facial structures and the real technique behind it. 

Nowadays, dental clinics trying to make a name for themselves are giving a lot of importance to online marketing on social media platforms as well as offline marketing for banners and posters. 

Many dentists prefer a personal dental photographer to click pictures of their cases and monitor the progress of their treatments. Hence one can opt for dental photography as a hobby as well as a profession after B. D. S. 

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Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.
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