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Dental Photography

Student Handbook

Created by:
Todd R. Schoenbaum, DDS
Richard G. Stevenson, DDS

The settings and equipment recommendations provided in this manual are guidelines. Adjustments
may need to be made based on personal preference,
equipment differences or varied situations.

Below the images the magnification setting on the


lens (i.e. 1:3, 1:1.5) and the aperture setting (i.e. f/8,
f/32) will be identified.

Photographic Strategies

- The field needs to be free of debris, plaque, saliva, and blood


- Visualize the final image before aligning the camera
- Position the retractors as desired, and have the patient hold them in position
- Mirrors must be clean and scratch-free
- Retractors should be pulled out and away from the face
- Ensure that the flash batteries are fully charged
Full Face
- Position the patient approximately 3 feet from the background drape
- The patients head should be vertical left-to-right and front-to-back
- Autofocus is useful for this image only
- Set the aperture to f/8 (if the image is too dark set to f/5.6)

Shade Images
- Position the shade tabs parallel with, and in the same plane as, the teeth
being matched
- The teeth need to be dry, but fully hydrated
- Ensure that the tongue is not touching the lingual of the teeth
- Use a contraster for maxillary anterior teeth to emphasize translucency
and characterization
Occlusal Images
- Position the patient in a fully supine position, with the chair lowered as
much as possible
- The patient holds the retractors after they are placed by the clinician
- The assistant holds the mirror and the air/water syringe to keep the
teeth dry and de-fog the mirror
- For the maxillary image, stand at the 12 oclock position, tilt the

patients head back
- For the mandibular image, stand at the 9 oclock position, lean against
the chair over the patient

M (incisal reveal with lips at rest)
- Set the magnification to 1:3 on the lens
- Instruct the patient to say Emma, allowing the lips to relax to a

normal position
- Watch the patient do this a few times before positioning the camera and
taking the picture
E (maximum gingival display)
- Instruct the patient to smile as big as possible
- If the patient does not appear to be producing a complete smile,
instruct them to say eeee

Photographic Armamentarium
1 - Digital SLR body
2 - Compatible Macro lens (~100mm; non-zoom)
3 - Macro flash (Ring or Dual-point)

4 - Memory card
5 - Cheek retractors
6 - Contraster
7 - Occlusal and buccal mirrors

Settings for Dental Photography


Exposure mode: M (manual)
Flash mode: eTTL
Focus: manual

ISO: 200
White balance: Flash
Image quality: Large JPEG

RAW for shade images
Shutter speed: 1/250
Aperture: f/8 for full face images

f/32 for intra-oral images

Basic Diagnostic Image Series


6 images
1. Full face smiling
- Use autofocus for this image
- Patients head should be vertical
- Aperture may need to be adjusted
depending on the flash strength
magnification 1:15 aperture f/8

2. Lips in Repose
(M position)

magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

- Turn off auto focus; set magnification to 1:3 and aperture to f/32
- Instruct patient to say Emma
- Used to determine incisal display
with lips in repose

3. Maximum gingival display


(E position)
- Instruct patient to say eeee
- Used to determine the maximum
lip height and gingival display
magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

Basic Diagnostic Image Series


6 images
4. Retracted
- Insert retractors
- Thoroughly dry the teeth and
gingiva
- Teeth should be slightly separated
- Retractors need to be pulled out
and forward
magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

5. Maxillary occlusal
- Place patient in fully supine
position
- Insert retractors (patient holds)
- Dry teeth, then insert mirror
- Shoot from 12 oclock position
- Focus at 1st premolar
magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

6. Mandibular occlusal
- Place patient fully supine with
head tilted back
- Insert retractors and dry teeth
- Place mirror under tongue
- Focus at 1st premolar
magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

Posterior Restoration Image Series


3 images
1. Shade Image (RAW)

- Position shade tabs as close


as possible to the teeth to be
matched
- Use the appropriate shade guide
for the porcelain to be used
- Keep tabs vertical
magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

2. Pre-operative Occlusal

- Use buccal mirror


- If not using a rubber dam, use
cheeck retractors
- Teeth should be clean and dry

magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

3. Post-operative Occlusal

- Use buccal mirror


- If not using a rubber dam, use
cheeck retractors
- Teeth should be clean and dry

magnification 1:3

aperture f/32

Anterior Restoration Image Series


6 images
1. Full face smiling

magnification 1:15

4. Retracted

aperture f/8

2. Pre-op

magnification 1:1.5

aperture f/32

5. Shade Image (RAW)

aperture f/32

3. Preparation

magnification 1:1.5

magnification 1:3

magnification 1:1.5

aperture f/32

6. Post-op

aperture f/32

magnification 1:1.5

aperture f/32

Comprehensive Diagnostic
Image Series (16 images)

1. Full face smiling


2. M (Lips in repose)
3. E (max. gingival display)
4. F (A-P relation)
5. Right smile
6. Center smile
7. Left smile
8. Pre-Operative shade image
9. Right retracted
10. Center retracted
11. Left retracted
12. Right close-up
13. Center close-up
14. Left close-up
15. Maxillary occlusal
16. Mandibular occlusal

Comprehensive Diagnostic
Image Series (16 images)