The Benefits of Great Dental Photography
Photography is an invaluable, integral and necessary part of dentistry, especially Orthodontics. With the advent and widespread use of digital technology in our practices, imaging has become essential, much easier to incorporate and much more readily accessible.
There are various benefits of great photography in the dental practice and reasons everyone should be taking advantage of this wonderfully simple technology:
1. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
Intraoral photographs (and sometimes extraoral) are an important and in some areas of dentistry an integral part of patient records. It helps in completing the "entire picture" of a case. They enable the dental practitioner to get an in-depth look of the dentition, soft tissues and the facial structures to address any disharmony. Imaging aids in proper diagnosis and treatment planning.
2. Patient Education and Communication
The old adage is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. How many times have you tried to explain to a patient something about occlusion by using your hands? - placing one hand over the other to represent the jaws? In comparison, in showing them photographs any scenario can be easily and simply explained.
3. Consultation/Referral to Specialists
It is typical for an Orthodontist to send radiographs in addition to photographs when transferring a case to another Orthodontist. However, it is not typical among the other specialties in dentistry. Photographs add an entirely new dimension to our reports when we send them to our colleagues. Taking Oral pathology for example, a picture of a soft tissue lesion can enable the pathologist to brainstorm differentials without having the patient in the office.
4. Marketing and Advertising
It is no doubt that beautiful, clear and detailed photographs are eye catching and shows a superior level of professionalism to potential new patients. The quality of your photographs, when placed on your website and/or on your social media pages is your first impression and tells a lot about you and your practice.
5. Legal Documentation
Our records (including photographs) are legal documents. They can come in handy if (God forbid) theres a malpractice lawsuit or the like.
6. Self Improvement and Education
We as dentist always strive to improve our skill set. We are lifelong learners and always looking for opportunities to learn, enhance and grow as practitioners. We can use our photographs to document cases and assess areas that need improving or we can even use it for education purposes among our peers.