Contact Us Today!Photo imaging refers to making an “after” smile preview from changing a “before” smile photo. These previews let you see approximately what your smile might look like after treatment. This will allow you to make suggestions to the doctor about any changes prior to beginning treatment.
There are times when what we would like to create for your smile is just not possible, or perhaps additional preliminary treatment is necessary. For example, orthodontics, bone grafting or facial surgery might be recommended to achieve your desired result. Photo imaging is a smart way to evaluate possibilities from both the patient’s and the doctor’s viewpoint.
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Before & After
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As a patient in our office, you will notice that photography is one of our most important tools. We use photography for diagnosis, treatment planning, patient consultation, laboratory communication, marketing and in the professional learning environment. One of the highlights of changing a smile is our portrait appointment, usually a few weeks after treatment is complete.
Here is an example of how photo imaging can be applied. The patient came to our office for a consultation regarding the appearance of four old crowns (caps) on her four upper front teeth. She had considerable other dentistry completed in her mouth. From a dentist’s point of view, the issues in regards to making the patient happy are as follows:
- The gum levels are not even, and the smile is very “gummy”. Gum re-contouring will be recommended
- There are dark triangles between the teeth at the gum line. The gum re-contouring, along with properly shaped restorations, will help develop pointed gums (papillae) to fill these spaces.
- The patient has a narrow upper arch resulting in less front tooth display than average. If just the four upper front teeth are treated, then they will need to be designed to the existing arch. If additional teeth (10 total) are restored, the arch can be widened, resulting in a broader smile.
- The molar crown on patient’s upper left (black arrow) is too bright and opaque. The patient should understand how this tooth will appear when her chosen dentistry is complete.
We have provided “preview imaged” smiles next to the current smile. The middle picture below shows the anticipated result with just the gum re-contouring and four new all-ceramic crowns. The right picture shows the improvement if 10 total restorations are placed. Both solutions show the upper left first molar as it is, so the patient can decide whether this is acceptable to her. The exercise helps the dentist determine the best courses of treatment and allows the patient to make an informed decision in selecting treatment to be completed.