Occlusal photography can be quite challenging without a few tricks up your sleeve. Taking a photograph that successfully captures a high quality image of your patients’ anatomy or your stunning dentistry is imperative for many reasons. One of the most important is to secure case acceptance through visual treatment planning.
Still, it’s easy to get lost in the details when you’re using more technically advanced cameras for your dental photography, which is why it’s useful to have a technique for harder aspects like using intraoral mirrors.
Maneuvering inside the mouth poses a host of issues that can ruin a shot. This is why getting the retracted occlusal photos using mirrors is especially tricky. You’ll want them for everything from restorative treatment planning and evaluating arch form to observing the occlusal surfaces of teeth.
Here are my do’s and don’ts for consistently great occlusal photographs:
Photography Do’s and Don’ts: Intraoral Mirrors
Use the right tools. You can capture amazing retracted dental photography by relying on a Chromium or Titanium Occlusal Mirror. The ideal size to capture full arches with these mirrors is 2 7/8′′ x 5 1/2′′.
Don’t use mirrors that aren’t sized to capture far enough back to the distal of the second molars. With the wrong size, you might also find that non-reflected teeth show up in the image frame. No one wants that!
Another common error in occlusal photography is fogging. Luckily, it’s easy and simple enough to run the mirror under hot water or place it in a warmer just before use.
Don’t forget to customize your retractors. This will help move the patient’s lips in such a way that you can properly use the intraoral mirror.
All in all, these tips will enable you to more efficiently and effectively take beautiful photos.
What are your favorite dental photography hacks or tricks? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!