The Set Up- Dental Photography Made Easy - Beginners Guide

Generally speaking, as dentists, we inherit the skills to restore and design new smiles and improve the confidence and consequently the life of our patients. However, the problem is that we don't showcase this enough to our patients and the public

Unfortunately an area which majority of dentists fall short on is the ability and skills to capture, persistently, high quality images of before treatment and after treatments. Not to mention any artistic shots to further enhance the beauty and details that we put in to the smiles we create as a result off many years and countless hours of practice and study. 


I graduated with very little knowledge of Clinical photography in dentistry but after spending countless hours I managed to grasp the art of photography and I've made it my mission to make it easier for all dentists. 

'in photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.'

I get many questions in the hands on sessions that I run around UK but the most popular question is ‘what camera should I get?’

The answer is simple…

For high quality of representable pictures I would always recommend a DSLR camera....

Now, I appreciate there are many different makes out there but the two that are very popular and very durable are Canon and Nikon.

Which DSLR camera to get?

Personally for my pictures I use Canon because it's very user-friendly and you can start snapping instantly.

Truth of the matter is that you can buy a second-hand DSLR camera body to save yourself a few pennies here or there, and it will do the job just fine. However many people would rather own the camera from new.

Remember this camera will last you many years to come and it will repay itself in many grounds such a self improvement, communication to your patients and increased turnover.

The prices on the body varies.

Here I have listed some of the bodies and I have categorised them from beginners to advanced with a link that will take you directly to the site should you want to order them.

Canon 100d £329

Nikon D3400 £320


Advanced Options


Canon EOS 80D  £999

Nikon D7500 £844 (on offer)


The most important equipment of this trio setup is the lens. 

The answer for dental photography is macro lens. This is how you achieve close up pictures of teeth in the highest quality to show up all the intricate details that you as a clinician implement in your work.

There is a bit of confusion when it comes to macro lens and that is the question ‘which macro lens should I get?’.

Here are my top 4 recommendations

Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Lens £389 (on offer)

Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens £469.99

Tokina AF 100mm F/2.8 Macro AT-X 100AF PRO D £352

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens  £359

Now I will mention that it is better to pair up your camera body to the same lens for compatibility, however the third and fourth lens, as I mentioned does come compatible with both Nikon and Canon and what's more it is that it saves you a little money as well.

I personally have a Canon macro lens 100mm to go with my Canon body.

What about Flash?

No we're not talking about the superhero here. This is just as important as any of the other pieces required to get that high end picture you always wanted.

In this post I will discuss the basic flash that is needed in order to take complete arsenal of photos from you patient for diagnosis, treatment planning and before and after treatment views.

Ring flash is the most common flash that we use in dentistry in order to snap a quick picture.

Now, again, you can purchase a ring flash from the well-known High Street companies such as Canon and Nikon, however there are other alternatives which I will recommend which can save you some money while giving you an equally Sharp picture.

Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Nikon £279

Canon Flash Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX £369

K&F Concept Ring Flash Light KF-150C E-TTL Macro Flash Ring £129

Sigma EM-140 DG NA-ITTL Macro Flash £329

I had both Canon and k&f concept Ring Flash and truth be told there is no difference between them. Only difference is the price.

Now that we have discussed the basic equipments for basic dental photography we are ready to take some pictures.

You can read ‘ Configure your camera settings’ on my tutorials articles page.

Happy snapping!