News, Tips & Tricks


cross-infection control on photographic equipment

by: Dr. Federico Lorelli

Hygienic procedures in dentistry for COVID-19 cross-infection control on photographic equipment

Photographic equipment used in the dental field, not being electro-medical equipment, cannot be sanitized with common medical disinfectants, they would be highly aggressive and corrosive for the electrical and mechanical components that make up professional SLRs, even in those with weather sealed bodies (i.e. resistant to dust and splashes of water).
Therefore, there is the need to use protective aids that protect our equipment, but at the same time allow us to use them in an ergonomic way, accessing the main functions and being able to take photos in the most appropriate way possible.
Considering a photographic equipment (fig.1) composed of:

Fig. 1
  • reflex camera body
  • macro objective
  • ring flash or wireless twin flash to be mounted on a ring attached to the lens (Sx-1 Nikon)
  • optional UV protective filter mounted on the thread of the macro lens used (which can be sanitized without damaging the lens)

There are on the market transparent polyethylene bags 25 micron thick, 38 cm x 66 cm (fig.2) that we will use to dress/wrap the above mentioned equipment.

Fig. 2

Before proceeding with the protection of the camera make sure that the batteries of the camera body and flash are charged and that the UV filter is screwed on the lens. (fig.3)

Fig. 3

The ring flash or wireless twin flashes must not be installed on the lens before dressing.
Insert the camera with the camera body facing the bottom of the bag (fig.4)

Fig. 4

Take the ring finger of the flash or the twin flashes mounted on the ring, bring them close to the lens, put the bag inside the ring (fig.5)

Fig. 5

Try to reduce the folds of the bag so that the ring can be properly attached to the lens (fig.6, fig.7, fig.8, fig.9)

If, on the other hand, we consider a larger photographic equipment, presence of Bouncer or twin flash holder bracket, we should equip ourselves with transparent polyethylene bags with dimensions equal to 75 cm x 82 cm (80 liters).
As it appears the camera equipped with Bouncer with twin flashes on Sx-1 Nikon ring.(fig.10, fig.11)

Even in presence of twin flash holder bracket the dressing procedure will be like the one described above, the use of the SX-1 Nikon ring will therefore be necessary to fix the envelope (fig.12).

Fig. 12

We will therefore have protected the equipment without compromising access to the controls (buttons and rings) and the lens focusing system. (fig.13 , fig.14, fig.15)

We cannot place our eye on the eyepiece to take photos, as we are prevented from doing so by protective goggles, any magnifying systems and mask. We will activate, therefore, the LiveView function (refer to the manual of your camera), which allows you to frame the subject through the LCD screen of the camera.(fig.16 , fig.17)

Fig 16/17

To facilitate viewing via LiveView, it is very important to illuminate the oral cavity with auxiliary light in order to make the screen as clear as possible and allow proper focus. It will therefore be sufficient to use the dental unit light set at minimum intensity, remembering to use the fastest possible shutter speeds allowed by the camera body (at least 1/125 sec or 1/200 sec and if possible 1/250 sec, refer to your camera manual) to cancel the influence of the auxiliary light in the final photo.
After using the camera and after removing the cover bag, you can sanitize the filter with isopropyl alcohol (diluted in 70% water), or in the absence of the UV filter directly on the lens. Do not spray the alcohol directly on the part to be sanitized, rather use a soaked Kleenex.
Isopropyl alcohol, also used pure, is an excellent degreaser for cleaning optical devices (lenses, photographic objectives, microscopes), cleaning of electronic devices (laser lenses for CD/DVD, magnetic tapes, printed circuit boards).

Dr. Federico Lorelli graduated in Dentistry in 1998 with honors from the University of Messina. As a Dentist he is dedicated to endodontics (six-month course Dr. Luigi Scagnoli), aesthetic prosthesis and minimally invasive conservative (annual master Dr. Mauro Fradeani and BOPT course of Dr. Ignazio Loi, on DSD with Christian Coachman, triStep with Dr. Francesca Vailati).
Registered as Nikon Photographer User.
Speaker of several courses on “photo-dentistry”, on the diagnosis of dental color assisted photography, on the diagnosis of dental color assisted software, on the use of Keynote software in the photo-dental field, on the use of Adobe Lightroom software in the photo-dental field.
He currently uses photography in his daily work to communicate with the practice team and the patient, through keynote and planning aesthetic and prosthetic treatments with Digital Smile Design.
At the XXXVI International Congress AIOP 2017
Receives 1st prize in the face category at the AIOP Photoshow Contest with the photo “Fashion Smile”.
At XXXVIII International Congress AIOP 2019
Receives 1st prize in the face category at AIOP Photoshow Contest with “Smile on light frame” photo
In 2020 he publishes the article “Photography as communication of excellence in the dental team” N°1 2020 TEAMWORKCLINIC Mainly practises as a freelance professional in his practice in Vibo Valentia, and also works as a consultant in other practices.

Dr. Federico Lorelli