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Intraoral Photography
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Question #1: Are simple automatic cameras, such as the Yashica Dental-Eye III, as good as the more complicated systems?
Answer: That depends on your needs. New complex camera systems have the potential to produce exceptional quality images in the hands of a highly skilled opertor. However, in the hands of the less skilled the image quality can be very poor. Complexity is only valuable if the operator has completely mastered the abilities of the system.
From my experience over the past 12 years as an educator most dentists want to devote more time to dentistry rather that photography. Because of this, assistants and other staff members have become the primary photograhers in many dental offices. Any time you have many minimally trained people using the same system, simpicity and ease of use are of primary importance. It's better to have moderate quality pictures all the time rather than excellent quality some of the time and no pictures between times. I personally find the Dental Eye III to be a good choice of equipment.

Question #2: Why does the Yashica Dental-Eye III, have three separate point sources? Some pictures do not have enough shadows for my use.

Answer: The camera will allow the operator to use all three or two of the flashes. Using two flashes increases shadowing. The flash selection is a matter of preference.

Question #3: Why should I buy a Dental Polaroid if I already have a 35 mm camera? Would an inexpensive home Polaroid be just as good if you have a good 35mm system?

Answer: The CU-5 can be used with the fine grain Polaroid 668 or 669 print film. A useful 2X magnification ratio multiplier is available.
The Macro-5 uses spectrum film and provides reasonable quality photographs.
Polaroid 600. OneStep, 600 LMS, 660 (Auto Focus): This is a home use, fully automatic Polaroid camera which can produce nice head and neck photos. It uses sound waves to measure the distance to the object.
However, when one takes into consideration the usefulness of instant pictures for patients and third parties the one time expense of a CU-5 or Macro-5 is a small investment which can give a high return as the years go by.

Question #4: Is professional slide film significantly more expensive than regular film?

Answer: Not in terms of value in a profession where accurate color reproduction is an essential part of the dental office record. Generally, professional film, in a brick of 20 rolls, costs between 10% and 25% more than ordinary film. Regular film is fine for vacation pictures with the family; variations in shading are unnoticed. However, in your office this film becomes a legal document to protect yourself in the event of litigation. What is it worth to have accurate records of your work in court? To most clinicians high quality before and after slides of clinical cases is priceless, since you can never take a before picture after the case starts. Quality photography is the difference between a credible image and one distorted or blurred by off color film.

Question #5: My regular film often comes out too red. Will professional film correct this?

Answer: Yes, professional films properly stored under refrigeration have been calibrated to the most accurate color reproduction.

Question #6: --Need Question--
Answer: Yes and no. Due to the high expense they can be cost effective in large offices which see a high volume of patients. I personally find no need for these large and somewhat clumsy systems since a CU-5 of a trial-up provides an inexpensive and simple method to record changes. Also with Cad-Cam the result drawn on the screen is not possible in real life. This never occurs with trial a build-up.
Another concern is the increasing over head of many dental offices. Few offices are in need of acquiring more debt. Also, as the months go by most electronic equipment increases in value and decreases in price. This is becaused there are enormous savings to scale as more units are manufacturered.
Eventually, each operatory will have a single CPU (computer) which will do all of the functions of the office: billing, recall, ordering, making appointments, photographing before and after which will be kept in electronic records.

Question #7: Do you recommend using a ring flash for mirror views?
Answer: Yes, ring lights work well with intraoral mirror views since the mirror coming from one direction acts as a broad point source and provides excellent illumination with good shadowing.

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