When we look at photography in our practice, it is perhaps the single most important thing we do these days. When I speak to my patients about it, we are talking about using photography first of all in records, so we know how they are today. It also allows them to see what I can see, because most patients have never seen their mouth the way we see when we examine them.
We also tell them that we are going to use the photos in treatment planning together with models, x-rays and all the thing we do. If we have their photographs, we can start to design where the teeth need to go to make a beautiful smile that they want and to stabilize their bite. We can do this while they are not even there. So that's the three main reasons we take photographs.
Helps patient own their problems
Photographs as a record - I think it is very important that we have those- medically and legally. It also helps the patients realize that if they come back in a few years time, perhaps they can see the thing that we spoke about coming to fruition. They might see worn teeth. They might see receding gums. So we're using that as a record, so they can see their progression.
Helps nurture a better relationship
Certainly it has been a massive tool for us for 'selling' treatment to a patient by just to let patients see what their mouth actually looks like. One of the key things is just to learn to put those pictures up on the screen and keep your mouth closed while they ask you, 'How can you help me? What can you do about those silver filings?, What could we do about those worn edges? How can we solve those things?' That is a much better relationship than us telling them what we think they need.
Start taking photography now
Thirdly, if we do get into that complete patient treatment, we need that photography to be able to to design where these teeth are going to go. It is absolutely crucial to every aspect that we do. Photography is used in every single level. The best thing to do is to start to use photography and you will see those benefits with your own eyes.
Learn more about proper record taking in our Core Curriculum