People seldom have a clear idea of the actual status of their dental health. Even with lights and mirrors, it’s tough to see anything but the front of your own teeth, or segments of the shadowed backs and side areas. But intraoral cameras have changed all of that. Now you can sit comfortably back in the chair while the dentist or hygienist inserts a handy pen-sized, camera-tipped wand into your mouth. Covered with a disposable plastic sheath for contamination prevention, the wand simply takes a video of the inside of your mouth and transmits the images via cable to a computing unit. The computing unit enlarges the full-color images and sends them to a TV screen. Aha! Suddenly both you and your dentist are able to view together every last detail of your oral health.
What You Can’t See Can Hurt You
It’s not necessarily pleasant to come face to face with your own dental condition. But it’s important to do so for several reasons. First, the camera may reveal the early stages of potentially serious problems, helping you make an informed decision about your treatment options. This is especially helpful with gum disease and other conditions where pain is a latent indicator of a problem. Second, the camera’s honest survey can show in a moment how well you’re doing with your regular home hygiene. This helps you and your dentist realistically assess what steps you might need to take on your own to improve things.