In a nutshell, an intraoral camera is a small video camera that takes an X-ray of the outside of the gum or tooth. The intraoral camera resembles an oversized pen and although usage varies depending on the model-type, this image-taking device is typically outfitted with a disposable protective sheath for each new patient. While simultaneously viewing a monitor, the dentist inserts the camera into a patient's mouth and gently shifts it about so that images can be taken from a variety of angles.
First used in the early 1990s, the intraoral camera is still a relatively new piece of dental equipment. Not so long ago, only a handful within the dental community used this tiny camera to take pictures of the teeth and gums. Today, use of the intraoral camera is widespread. For those dentists who do use this device, the intraoral camera has been, and continues to be, extremely handy both in diagnosing dental conditions such as tooth decay and cracked teeth and in educating you, the patient.