Effective Dental Lab Communication through Smartphone Technology

Effective Dental Lab Communication through Smartphone Technology

The Dentist’s smartphone is an important tool for fast and efficient communication with his/her dental laboratory.  The phone’s camera is especially useful for conveying clear and detailed information.

Photographs and videos can be transmitted to the laboratory via email or text message.  Bayshore Dental Studio offers its dentists a Customer Portal where images and instructions can be uploaded from the phone directly to the corresponding patient case file.  Some applications for smartphone camera photos and videos include:

  • Margin clarification
  • Spacing and clearance
  • Articulation from various angles
  • Shade and tooth shape

Smartphone cameras are one of the fastest growing segments of the digital camera market. Many offer high megapixels, high storage capacity and great lenses. Your phone can take great digital photos of existing patient dentition, models, and more. Although there may be minor issues, your smartphone takes as good a photo as a high end SLR camera.

Here are some tips for taking better oral photos with your smartphone:

Good Lighting (Turn off the Flash): The problem with many smartphone flashes is that they aren’t the same as a camera flash. They’re glorified LED flashlights. While they are bright, the color may be distorted. The “flash” duration is too long resulting in a blurry image.

Keep Your Lens Clean: Hazy, dark images that don’t look good can be a result of everyday grim on the lens. Use a soft cloth and give it a quick wipe. Occasionally use a lens cleaning solution. The lens may look clean but that deep clean will make a difference.

Get Close: Many smartphone cameras take better photos when you bring them in close to your subject. The small sensor provides a relatively wide depth of field allowing you to get entire objects in focus. Large cameras with bigger sensors and longer lenses have trouble. When you get close, you usually have more control over the lighting of your subject. Small detailed shots can be quite effective.

Don’t Use Zoom: Many smartphone cameras have the digital zoom function. We recommend you don’t use it. Images start to degrade as soon as you start to zoom. You will not like the result. If necessary, crop the photo because the pixel resolution remains the same. Many smartphones have 8-megapixels of resolution and sometimes more. That means you can crop substantially and still have plenty of resolution left.