Dental Photography: Lighting Equipment to Improve Your Images

Clinical Dental Photography can help dentists see things that are not easily visible, such as small cavities in teeth and gum disease. Having detailed images not only makes accurate diagnoses and develops treatment plans but also provides a visual record of a patient’s condition and any potential treatments they may be undergoing.

Investing in appropriate lighting is key in creating a correctly exposed, high-quality and detailed image in dental photography, as it helps to get the best texture and colour representation, and minimises shadows, therefore reducing the risk of obscuring important details. 

Best Lighting Solutions for Dental Photography By EssentialPhoto & Video

Why Should You Invest in Professional Lighting Tools for Your Dental Photography? 

Although some dentists use natural light to capture dental imagery, its single-direction light source has disadvantages such as harsh shadows and provides limited control when the weather and brightness changes.

Conversely, professional lighting tools offer the advantage of multi-directional, consistent illumination, minimising shadows and ensuring that even if you're taking images on different days and times, your image is taken in the same lighting conditions. Dual LED lights, ring flashes and mini softboxes / diffusers, for example, provide precise control over intensity, direction and colour temperature, enhancing the quality of your dental images.

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Essential Lighting Equipment for Dental Professionals

Option 1: Dual Flash 

If you’re looking for a solution which will give you more light control, the dual flashes are the perfect choice. For example, MF12-DK1, MF12-DK2 and MF12-DK3 are twin flashes that attach directly to the front of the camera lens. These can be controlled by a single trigger, giving an easy way to adjust the different angles to the subject.

While the angle of incident from one flash equals the angle of reflectance of the contra lateral flash, resulting in reducing any unwanted reflections. This benefit allows the dentist to capture the detail located on the lateral edges of the teeth. With this dual-flash setup, you can photograph dentine strata below the overlying enamel of natural teeth or visualise the dentine porcelain layer of a ceramic dental restoration.

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Godox MF12-Dk1 Twin Flash Kit for Dental Photography
Godox MF12-DK1 Twin Flash Kit 
Godox MF12-DK2 Twin Flash Kit for Dental Photography By EssentialPhoto & Video
Godox MF12-DK2 Dental Flash Kit 
Godox MF12-DK3 Dual Flash for Dental Photography By EssentialPhoto & Video
Godox MF12-DK3 Macro Flash Kit 

Option 2: Ring Lights 

Ring lights are another common lighting solution for dental photography because of their affordable price points, straightforward use, and their performance. When compared, traditional lighting setups can often result in unwanted reflections on dental surfaces, which challenges the capture of clear and detailed images. The ML-150II, MF-R76 and MF-R76+ ring flashes, on the other hand, reduce reflections and enhance visibility.

More importantly, ring flashes produce soft, diffused lighting that mimics natural daylight, resulting in natural-looking highlights. This functionality is especially beneficial for showcasing the aesthetics of dental restorations, such as veneers and composite fillings, in a flattering and realistic manner.   

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Godox ML-150II Macro Ring Flash For Dental Photography By EssentialPhoto & Video
Godox ML-150II Macro Ring Flash 
Godox MF-R76 On-camera Ring Flash By EssentialPhoto & Video
Godox MF-R76 On-Camera Ring Flash
Godox MF-R76+ Ring Flash For Dental Photography By EssentialPhoto & Video
Godox MF-R76+ Dental Ring Flash 

Option 3: Mini Softbox and Diffusers 

The third option for dental photography is the combination of mini flash heads with softboxes. For dentistry photo setups, integrating small softboxes that range in size from 15-20 cm with a Godox V1 flash is the best option. Softboxes aim to create a soft and diffused light over the dental surfaces. By minimising the unwanted reflections on dental surfaces, it is especially beneficial for capturing glossy dental restorations or reflective instruments. In practical use, the closer to the subject you place it, the softer the lighting will be, and also, the greater the angle of incidence of light on the teeth, the more contrasting the shadows will be.

When positioning the softboxes in front of the patient’s face, the light will fill the entire oral cavity without any shadows. Thus, by changing the arrangement of light sources, you can achieve different images to adapt to the specific requirements. 

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Mini Softbox Speedlite Lightings by EssentialPhoto & Video
17x15cm Rectangular Speedlite Softbox 
Mini Sofbox By EssentialPhoto & Video
20cm Octagonal Speedlite Softbox


Overall, both of these lighting options contribute to accurate diagnosis, improve treatment planning, and enhance predictable clinical outcomes. These recommended lights are currently available at EssentialPhoto & Video. You can select the light that best suits your specific needs and requirements. 

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