So you might wonder why I would choose photography as such an early entry on my blog. The reason is simple: Getting into the habit of taking photos regularly has been one of the 3 big driving forces that have pushed my dentistry forward in ability and quality over the last few years (If you are interested the other 2 are the forums linked to in the useful resources page and forging a strong partnership with a really good technician Ben Ede from Stable Ceramics).
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. There are so many aspects of dentistry where that is so very true. There is no way I could record in the level of detail required, or plan complex cases, or discuss things with patients the way I do without photos because the amount of information provided by photos would require tens of thousands of words to replicate.
Recently week we had our new VT (foundation) dentist join the practice. Her name is Jeongmin Leanne Lee. Now I am not the VT trainer so I don't get paid to help her, but I enjoyed helping the last VT dentist (XinHui Yeo) a lot over the past 12 months and I am the only person in the practice who has invested in a decent camera. So I decided to book an hour out of a day to provide a photography tutorial to the new VT on her third day in practice. I did this because I hoped that it would help to emphasise the importance I put on photography and because it is highly likely she will be asking to borrow my camera so it makes sense for her to know how to use it.
I realised afterwards that in that one hour she has taken more dental photographs than I took in my first 2 years of practice. And considering she was trying to get to grips with a strange, new, heavy camera they are pretty good indeed but that really isn't the point. By starting as she means to go on and by having the confidence to take photos she will now be able to better:
You don't have to buy a really fancy camera. In fact I am not going to start talking about camera choices or what settings to use because there are people out there with much more educated opinions than me. My setup has now cost me £2000 in total but you can get pretty decent results with almost any camera as long as you know how to control it. There is even a growing trend for dental photography using mobile phones.
So here are some of the photos I have taken recently. While looking at these try to imagine recording down everything you can see in these photos in writing and how long that would take you.
Dr Chris Harper