If you can’t see or feel a dental problem, how do you know you have one? This is one of the most challenging jobs we have and it’s why dental researchers have skillfully found a simple solution… Let the patient see what the dentist is seeing! And that’s how the intraoral camera was “born.”
While it’s a very small camera that is placed at the end of a wand and can easily be placed anywhere in your mouth, we think of it as one of our most valuable communication tools. It captures images of your teeth, gums, and tissues which can be shown to you on our chairside monitors. The camera is also outfitted with LED lighting and a magnifier for better visibility.
Think about it. If you’re able to see what we’re seeing, you’ll more-easily understand your treatment options. It will show you actual photos of your teeth, gums, and more … and it will provide the security you need to understand treatment recommendations and to feel confident in determining what treatment options are best for you.
Plus, as your dentist in Tigard, we hope that, as an important member of your health care team, it helps us earn your valuable trust!
What images might you see on the computer screen as a result of using an intraoral camera?
- Fractured teeth – This type of damage happens for many reasons, including teeth grinding at night, biting into too-hard foods (nuts, hard candy, etc.), and physical trauma. It’s why we always recommend a mouthguard when playing any sport that could result in unexpected contact with the head, jaw, and mouth.
- Failing restorations – Contrary to what most people believe, most dental restorations don’t last forever, but you can ensure their longevity with excellent home care (brushing and flossing daily) and using any dentist-recommended cleaning routines
- Lesions – This could include multiple mouth sores including cankers.
- Oral cancer – If we suspect oral cancer, in addition to completing all the tests necessary, we’ll be able to accurately document it for immediate digital communication with your general practitioner.
- Plaque buildup – Often, patients aren’t able to see what is happening at the back of their mouth and plaque buildup is one thing that can readily be solved when a patient understands where it is and how extensive it is.
- Inflamed tissues (gingivitis) – Again, if tissues are inflamed at the back of your mouth, an intraoral camera is priceless when it comes to discussing the extent and how to treat it.
- Gum disease – With the intraoral camera, we’ll show you the areas in your mouth that have gum disease (either gingivitis which is early-stage gum disease or periodontitis which is later-stage disease). Together, we’ll make a plan to help you heal and achieve optimum oral health.
Ways you can benefit from the use of intraoral cameras:
- Intraoral cameras are essential patient education tools and are the fastest and most effective way to communicate. You’ve heard the idiom, “Pictures are worth 1,000 words.” Well, we’re a firm believer in that one! It makes it so easy for us to explain something that we find that needs to be addressed, and it make it so easy for patients to understand what is happening and why treatment is necessary.
- Intraoral cameras allow us to build more comprehensive patient record files, as images can be saved and referred to in the future. We use the images to compare and evaluate progress from one appointment to the next, or indeed, where it’s evident that extra attention and care needs to be directed. We can also show you so that you can always see what we see. Often this opens up a productive dialogue about your oral health and your treatment plan, wishes, needs, and goals.
- Intraoral camera digital photos are very useful to expedite communication with dental specialists, should you need a referral. The images allow us to illustrate your particular situation with more specificity, making it possible to get a jump on your case before we even meet you! It helps a specialist and their team better prepare for your visit and anticipate your needs.
- Your insurance company loves intraoral camera digital photos! The images are very beneficial when insurance providers need clarity on a recommended treatment or a claim, especially when the care is more complex… saving you a lot of time and hassle. They immediately understand what the situation is. Often, the treatment plan is that much more cut and dry for them as the photos answer any questions they may raise, eliminating the back-and-forth between them and us, as well as any delays their inquiries cause.
Using intraoral cameras isn’t just a neat little techno-gimmick. It’s a communication tool that helps us all make better treatment decisions. So, come on in to Total Health Dental for an appointment and give that smile a screen test! Call (503) 433-8256 today!