By Lawrence Spindel DDS, Tuesday May 15, 2012



Dentists use photography in a number of ways. Often prior to treatment planning, we photograph our patient’s smiles, as well as their entire mouths. These photos can be studied to help us treatment plan cases. Photos are extremely important in our communications with our dental laboratory, since they show the position of patient’s lips as they relate to the teeth and help document a patients tooth shade.

Shade selection can be complicated, especially with anterior teeth and a high quality photograph can be extremely helpful to ceramicist, when attempting to duplicate a patients tooth shade. Teeth are not monochromatic, but have zones of colors and these can be difficult to duplicate without a high quality photograph.

Also photography is used to document before and after photos of our patients (Bleaching and Cosmetic Smile Make Overs) These photographs are invaluable in demonstrating changes to patient’s smiles. Not only can they be used to show other patients what type of changes we can accomplish, but they are useful in showing the actual patients involved, the degree of change that we have accomplished.

Since the advent of digital photography it has become easier to incorporate photography into their dental practices since photos can be viewed instantaneously and are easily loaded into our computers for documentation, reviewing, and sharing with our specialists and laboratories. In addition, dentists can make use of photo shop programs to virtually alter patient’s smiles, in order to demonstrate proposed changes.