Friday, October 21, 2011

Workshop @ Gnathodontics!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is conducting shade-matching workshops at some of the country's best dental labs. Last week we had just such an occasion at Gnathodontics, LTD in Lakewood Colorado. Wonderful facilities and expertly organized; I look forward to working with them in the future. Pictured here are Stephen Mott, CDT,  the lab's co-owner & Implant Dept. Manager on the left, and John Bozis, Customer Relations, Sales & Marketing Mgr in the center. Many thanks also to Carmen Nicholas, Master Ceramist.  This is a really great team.

It was interesting to see some Nikon users at this workshop. The lab itself was using the D90, and there was a D3100 as well. The Nikon camera, coupled with the 105mm f2.8 AF-S VR Macro lens and the R1 Speedlight makes a formidable, but moderately priced, system.
One of my main objectives over the years has been to help dental professionals be informed consumers when it comes to purchasing their digital photography systems. It's common for them to over-buy, that is, end up with a camera that has far more features and capabilities - and thus far more expensive - than actually needed for their intraoral and shade-matching photography. This is why cameras such as the Nikon D90, the D3100, and even the new D5100, are such good choices: excellent image quality and economically priced. There are also great choices from Canon in their Digital Rebel series of cameras.
Are you in the process of purchasing your new camera system? Send me a note if you have any questions. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have. I've bought a camera or two in my time! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Great Workshops!

This has been a really busy month ~ two workshops here at home in Portland, one more next week in Denver. It was nice, as I rarely get to stay home for these. First, my very biggest thanks to Davis Dental Lab for their work in organizing this workshop and providing some wonderful refreshments that evening. As usual with the dental lab, the focus for the attending dentists was on shade-matching photography.

The first half of this workshop is a really eye-opening discussion on the nature of color itself, and the inherent difficulties involved in color perception. These issues become critical when we try to communicate our perception of color to the dental lab, resulting all too often in costly re-makes. It's amazing, and a little scary, just how fluid our color perception can be, and how so many internal and environmental factors affect us.

The second half illustrates how we use digital photography to address these issues and make it possible for us to communicate color information to the lab much more effectively. Now it's our turn to be amazed at how easily we can make this technology work in simplifying and streamlining the photographic process. The right equipment -- digital SLR camera, macro lens, and ringflash -- are discussed in detail: settings, file formation, monitor calibration, and more. And of course a lot of time to do some real hands-on practicing.

I then presented a workshop on the general use of digital photography to a group of Speech Pathologists in Vancouver Washington.  It was fascinating for me to work with this group of professionals for the first time. They had similar issues of documenting intraoral pre and post-treatment dental procedures related to therapeutic applications. I hope to work more with these practitioners.

Next up: October 14 in Lakewood Colorado, another shade-matching workshop at Gnathodontics, Ltd. I love getting back to Colorado, one of my favorite places any time of year. Click on their link if you'd like to know more about the workshop.

Or drop me a line -- right here at home in Oregon. Also one of my favorite places!