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Dental Photography: Taking Pictures of Your (FMX) X-rays


I have had several inquiries concerning “photographing” x-rays and Pans with your digital camera. For this blog, I used a Point and Shoot Canon Power Shot G12 outfitted for dental photography but any dental camera will work.

Colored Picture of X-ray

Colored Picture of X-ray

If you are taking a picture of a single x-ray, like a bitewing, then you will need to attach the cameras special magnifying adapter or with other cameras zoom in until you frame the image . For a panorex or a full FMX then leave the adapter off. The example given is for an FMX.

Camera Settings:

  1. Put your camera in Program (“P” on the mode dial).
  2. Turn the cameras flash off. Usually the off/on looks like a lightening bolt on the back of your camera.
  3. Zoom in all of the way framing what you want.
  4. Turn your camera to “Black and White;” gray scale. Located by pushing the “function/Set button;” jog down to “My Colors.” Jog right or left to B&W; Black&White. With other cameras, explore the menus until you see B&W.
  5. Change your ISO to 400. The default is 100.
  6. Put camera on Manual Focus (MF).
  7. Optional, put your cameras quality setting to its highest file size, Super Fine. Usually found under Function/Set

Reasons for the settings: The flash needs to be off to avoid reflection highlights from occurring on the film. The view
box provides enough light for your camera not to shake.

A colored image results in a picture with a blue cast. This has to do with the wavelength of florescent lights from the view box. That is why you should set your camera to

Turn camera setting to Black & White

Turn camera setting to Black & White

Black and white (gray scale).
The ISO is moved higher to reduce camera shake and the higher quality

setting lets you zoom in more so you can crop off a single x-ray.

Then, put the FMX on the view box, move closer or farther getting the camera in focus,Ā  lock your elbows to your side to reduce shake and push the shutter.

Cropped picture



dennis_bio_wp_marginAbout the author: Dennis Braunston is the Founder of Dental Learning CentersĀ®, and a leader in dental technology since 1990. He is recognized as a pioneer and expert at teaching digital photography, cosmetic imaging and case presentation in dentistry. Dennis has developed a number of successful dental products, and is an author and nationally recognized key note speaker. As an accredited continuing education provider Dennis has trained Dentists around the world on best practices in Dental imaging and photography. For more information, contact Dennis Braunston at Dental Learning Centers: dennis@dlcenters.com; www.dlcenters.com.

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