Playing with polarised photography


Reflective cross-polarisation gives interesting opportunities for clinician and dental technician to see the details in the tooth structure. Lastly, I had a patient with demanding color structure of the natural dentition.

With help of the polar-eyes mounted on my Metz 15 MS-1 ring flash, I took few shots to see and check the hidden details in the teeth structure.


After downloading the files into my computer, I start to work with editing. My software of preference is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC.

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The first view shows the photo without specular reflections. The color distribution and structure of the teeth with visible cracks is more present compared to the non-polarised picture.

In the Develop Mode in the Lightroom software, I have the tools on the right panel, which will let me control and change different settings. By moving the sliders left or right I can change the values of specific parameters. This is very helpful and can bring even more details into the light from existing photo.

With the next photo, I reduced the Highlights -100. Notice the change in the cervical and incisal area.

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Another change is with Blacks reduced to -100. The photo becomes oversaturated with more visible distribution of the color in the tooth

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Last but not list is the manipulation with Contrast +100 and  Clarity +100. The photo shows more details in the structure of the teeth, like cracks or perikymata.

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There are many options to manipulate the photos in the digital world using different types of software. However, the most common are Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop CC, and Lightroom CC.

Of course, it’s up to you what kind of instrument will you use to get more information about the tooth structure.


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