Four Common Mistakes in Dental Photography

September 5, 2019 by AACD Executive Office

It's important to capture excellent clinical images for AACD Accreditation submissions. Photos that are poorly shot can negatively impact a case submission. Here are four common dental photography mistakes along with tips to help you capture better images for your clinical case submissions:

1. UNDESIRABLE EXPOSURE

Photography is about understanding light. Understand these aspects to prevent out of focus images and blurring due to patient movements:

  • Depth of field

  • Shutter speed

  • Improper lighting

Underexposed photo

Take test images using direct undiffused lighting with an aperture setting at f-32, ISO at 100, and the shutter speed set at 1/100.

2. INAPPROPRIATE ANGLE


Position the camera at 90 degrees horizontally and vertically with reference to the subject. Framing an image from above or below the subject can alter the perception of the plane of the teeth.

Image taken from an inferior angle
on the patient’s right

3. IMPROPER FRAMING

Recline the patient and have them hold the retractors. To keep the mirror from fogging, ask your assistant to hold the occlusal mirror against the opposite arch and apply a gentle stream of dry air.

 

Use these guidelines to help capture the best occlusal image:

  • Stand above the patient to capture the maxillary view

  • Stand below the patient’s head to capture the mandibular view

Improper framing-edge of mirror
and unreflected teeth visible

4. INCORRECT MAGNIFICATION

Make any necessary magnification conversions to produce an image magnification comparable to the images illustrated in A Guide to Accreditation Photography. You will need to capture the required views using these three magnification ratios:

  • 1:10

  • 1:2

  • 1:1


Inadequate magnification
for full face view

Settings will vary with sensor and face size. Cameras with smaller sensors will require approximately a 1.5 times increase setting on the lens barrel, such as [1:10 (1:15), 1:2 (1.3), 1:1 (1:1.5)].

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