The Correct Equipment for Dental Photography
When starting out with clinical photography, it can be tempting not to buy the correct gear. After all, your mobile phone has a decent camera, right?
Now you don't actually need to spend loads and loads of money buying the most expensive lens and the most expensive camera, but you do need to buy the correct macro lens with the correct flash.
The body of the camera itself doesn't need to be that expensive. In fact, there are many advantages to having a less expensive crop sensor rather than a full frame sensor. Let me explain you why.
I have listed below some links to my favorite shops. These are just a recommendation to get you started with the correct gear.
If you haven't already seen, at Dental Notebox, we have an online photography course which details the key stuff you need to get started with clinical photography.
The most important thing is not to use your mobile phone, not only does this have GDPR issues all around it, but the quality of the image you’ll get won’t always be that good.
If you are trying to portray a professional image, then investing in a professional camera will pay for itself again and again.
Retraction pack, have a few set up, and ready to go
Let's say you have all the correct gear and retractors, but you're still not taking photography. The reason is often you don't really have the habits to take clinical photography regularly. The way to overcome this, is to simply make taking clinical photography an easy process for you.
What I mean by this is, for example, have a pack of retractors sterilized and ready to go, so that if you do decide to take photos, you're in a very good position to do it very quickly. Then, all your nurse needs to do is open the pack, and you're ready to go. It's often worth having multiple packs ready so that you can take photos on consecutive patients without having to wait for the sterilization process.
Get your nurse involved
Usually, there is a dentist and a nurse in the clinical room. You should make use of your nurse and train them up on how to retract the patients lips effectively for each type of photo.
This makes it a lot quicker and easier to get the shots that you need.
In addition, your nurse will feel more involved and maybe would sometimes like to learn new skills like retraction. Once your nurse is good at this, he or she can actually start taking most of your clinical photography.
Paperwork and permissions
It's important to understand that photography is a medical legal document and should be handled with care.
In the UK, we are governed by GDPR and clinical records are a special category of data. And for this kind of data, you need to have explicit permissions from the patient to collect the data. The patient will have access to the photography at any time, and whoever you share the photography with must only have access for the specific period of time that is needed. For example, a dental lab does not need to have indefinite access to the patients' photography.
It is essential that you obtain signed consent forms, but more importantly, have a high-level trust relationship with your patients. If you're going to use the photography in social media, we would recommend that you specifically tell the patients where the photography will be used.
At the end of a successful treatment, where the before and after images are dramatically different, your patients will often agree to share close-up photography.
Organize your images with a good system
There’s going to be a time when you need to find some patient’s photography, but you don't remember his or her name, however, you may only remember the kind of treatments which they've done, and for this reason it's important to have a good way of organizing your images.
Luckily for you, we have a perfect online photography management system.
If you use Dental Notebox to manage your clinical photography, you will know that you can upload all of your images and you can tag them, to easily find the case you're looking for.
This is extremely useful when you're talking to new patients who would like to see a situation similar to their own. You can quickly find cases with lower incisor crowding, and show your patients what you have done for others. This will help you increase the chances of your patient saying yes to the treatment suggestion.
Dental Notebox has been designed for dentists primarily in the UK, to comply with GDPR regulations. One way we do this, is by making sure all of your images are encrypted to military standards and only stored in the UK only, unlike most online storage platforms which are generic.
If you would like to find out more about Dental Notebox you can head over to the main website or if you would like to find out more about our online photography course to get your skills up to standard then you can click here.
Here’s a list to my favorite shops for cameras and lens: