Dental Photography 101: Part 2

Using a handsfree, non-interruptive camera means that comprehensive photos can be taken with every patient without adding time to the treatment.

  • Before and after photos can increase patient overall satisfaction with the clinic and results1.
  • Comprehensive basic views can be used to illustrate, educate and motivate patients at every visit. This is critical for treatment success since patients tend to underestimate the severity of problems and the treatment required2.
  • Reconstructive and cosmetic views help orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons follow the progress of pathological lesions, tooth movement or the soft tissue healing between stages of treatment3. Comparison photos allow for early intervention in the case of subtle problems like degeneration, gingivitis, periodontitis, etc.
  • Combining a real-life photo with an x-ray or tomography helps explain the internal structures to a patient who has no experience reading medical images.

Note: Patient privacy varies from country to country. This post does not include full face photos. Make sure you have patient consent before photographing. A sample consent form is available for download from the futudent privacy policy website.

Before and After Views

Hygienists find before and after views particularly useful to show patients when removing a build up of calculus and performing whitening. With the futudent camera system, videos of correct tooth brush use and interdental cleaning can be created instantly and e-mailed to the patient for later consultation.

An anterior or buccal lateral image focusing on the canine (cuspid) provides enough information to satisfy patients:



Comprehensive Oral Health Basic Views

With just 5 views taken during initial examination, the patient’s complete oral health can be documented and compared. Beyond oral health, comprehensive photos as a standard practice improve the clinic’s legal situation, insurance provider communication, and gives undeniable evidence in suspected abuse cases.

Views should be aligned so that the patient recognizes the orientation and annotations (centerline markings and bite lines) can be made across all images.

Dental Photography 5 Views

Reconstructive and Cosmetic Views

Where the topography of a patient’s face may change as a result of treatment, the full or partial facial images may be added to show the exterior changes:

  • Full face smile
  • Full face repose
  • Full face profile
  • Front and/or side repose (at rest)
  • Front and/or side natural smile
  • Front and/or side “M” smile (lips open about 4mm as if to say “m”)
  • Front and/or side “E” smile (mouth positioned to say an exaggerated “e”)

When interesting mid-treatment moment occur or when laboratory communication is needed, complementary images can be added. Examples include prosthetic color match, areas of concern and occlusal contact after articulating paper.

Dental Photography 9 View


In Dental Photography 101 Part 3, we’ll show different patient and dentist positioning to combine the equipment and views. 



  1. Pei, D., Liang, B., Du, W., Wang, P., Liu, P., He, M., Lu, Y. (2017). Multimedia patient education to assist oral impression taking during dental treatment: A pilot study. International Journal of Medical Informatics, (102), 150-155.
  2. Jablow M. Patient education software can increase treatment plan acceptance. Inside Dentistry. 2008;4(8). Accessed April 26, 2021
  3. Ahmad, I. Digital dental photography. Part 2: purposes and uses. Br Dent J 206, 459–464 (2009).


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