Advanced Technology- Intra-Oral CameraIf you are a regular patient here at McLoughlin Dental Care, then you will know we are committed to always ensuring you receive the very best and most advanced dental care. To do this, we have invested in the most up-to-date diagnostic technology. One of our most valuable tools is the intra-oral camera. The intra-oral camera was initially introduced in the 1990s, and nowadays, its use is widespread because it is such a handy device.

What Is an Intra-Oral Camera?

An intra-oral camera is a tiny device approximately the same size as a large pen or toothbrush, with a camera lens at the end. It is covered with a protective plastic sheath that is changed for every patient to ensure the device is entirely hygienic and to prevent any risk of contamination. The video camera is small enough to fit comfortably in your mouth so that we can take pictures of your teeth. Unlike digital dental x-ray images, the images produced by an intra-oral camera are easy to understand and are incredibly clear. There are several different ways we can use an intra-oral camera, including when diagnosing problems and after treating your teeth.

One way we can use this device is to take pictures of your teeth which are immediately displayed on the screen in the treatment room. It’s possible to resize these images up to 25 times magnification so you can see even the smallest areas in your mouth in minute detail. We can also use the video camera to give you a tour of your mouth, showing you any areas of concern. For example, with the camera, it’s possible to show you areas of decay, teeth that are worn or broken or which are missing fillings. We can even point out other things such as plaque or calculus deposits. If you have ever wondered what we can see when we look in your mouth, then our intra-oral camera will show you! These images can be saved for future reference, or we can even print them out for you to take home.

A Faster and More Comfortable Diagnosis

By viewing magnified images inside your mouth, we can make a quicker and more accurate diagnosis. A faster diagnosis is essential if you experience any pain or discomfort in a tooth, and where you need immediate treatment. Additionally, an intra-oral camera is comfortable and non-invasive, which is very important when you are in any pain.

The Benefits of Showing You What We See

Of course, it can be pretty interesting to see inside your mouth, but from our point of view and an intra-oral camera is a valuable education tool. Although our dentist Dr. Donald Nimz is excellent at explaining things, and our entire team is always willing to answer any questions, we know that sometimes it can be challenging to understand a problem fully. It’s all very well for us to talk about a tooth that is decayed or damaged, or to explain about other issues like gum disease, but when you can visualize the areas in question, then problems are much easier to grasp. We can use these images to help you improve your oral hygiene routine if needed. Some people will regularly miss specific areas when brushing and flossing. Seeing exactly where these areas are located, and the effects of neglecting them can be extremely useful.

With an intra-oral camera, we can zoom in on any problem areas and can show you precisely what we are talking about, using images that are ultra-clear and in color.

Understand Your Treatment Options More Clearly

We’ve found this device to be invaluable in helping patients understand their oral health. Once you understand the problem more thoroughly, you are more able to take control of your dental health and your treatments. Seeing the problem inside your mouth can make it easier to become more health conscious. It’s especially beneficial when a problem may have several different solutions, allowing us to explain each treatment option fully. When you properly understand all the options available, it’s much easier to make a fully informed decision. Anyone who feels a little nervous about having dental treatment may find they are more comfortable with this treatment approach. Often just knowing more about what is happening and understanding your dental health can help relieve fear and anxiety.

Improving Your Dental Knowledge

We’ve also found that most patients are fascinated when they can see inside their mouth and appreciate the chance to learn more about their dental health. Often the images displayed on the screens can prompt more questions, which is excellent from our point of view because we always welcome the chance to improve people’s knowledge, and potentially their oral hygiene and dental health. When treatment is ongoing, it’s possible for us to review past images with you, so you can see benefits to your oral health and will know your treatment plan is being effective.

We Take Images Showing the Benefits of Treatments

Once any treatment is complete, we can show you on-screen. For example, if you have an aging or crumbling filling, you will get to see the images showing the failing filling, so you can easily understand why it needs replacing. Afterward, we can show you the brand-new filling, so you can immediately see the improvement. If you require treatment for gum disease, then you will get to look at your gum health gradually improving.

Another considerable advantage of an intra-oral camera is the ability to email images to dental specialists, or we can provide insurance companies with the proof they need to approve treatment.

Is an Intra-Oral Camera Safe?

An intra-oral camera is an extremely safe piece of equipment. It is specially designed only to be used inside your mouth, and the images are captured comfortably and quickly. In fact, it’s a far more comfortable piece of equipment than a dental mirror which can sometimes trigger a gag reflex. With this tiny camera, we don’t need to poke or probe unnecessarily, as it will scan the inside of your mouth, without making you feel as if you want to gag! Our equipment is always meticulously maintained because your safety is our top priority.

If you have questions about or want to learn more about our intra-oral camera, then just ask us at your next appointment. We’d be delighted to chat with you about this device, or about any other technology in our dental office.