ADAA View Course

Dental Photography (AGD 138)

Presenter: Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA, MADAA and Debra Engelhardt-Nash


The adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. This phrase emerged in the USA in the early part of the 20th century. Its introduction is widely attributed to Frederick R. Barnard who published a piece commending the effectiveness of graphics in advertising with the title “One Look is Worth a Thousand Words” in Printer’s Ink, December 1921. This is also true in dentistry, advertising or any other aspect of life. Since the largest percent of learning takes place visually, photographs are a powerful way to educate and motivate your patients to accept treatment. Thousands of dental offices are now using dental photography to build patients’ trust through visual communication.



Linda is a current Certified Dental Assistant through the Dental Assisting National Board, a life member of the American Dental Assistants Association and is an Expanded Function Dental Assistant in the state of Oregon. Linda obtained her Oral Maxiofacial Surgery Assistant certification through the University of Southern California. Linda was the state of Oregon’s first dental assistant to receive her Masters with the American Dental Assistant Association. Linda has worked in general chairside, endodontics, periodontics and as an instructor for the Dental Assisting Program at Linn-Benton Community College. Over the years, Linda has served in numerous positions at the local, state and national association levels, culminating with her term as Tenth District Trustee representing Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Linda currently volunteers time assisting in oral surgery at the Free Dental Clinic in Salem, Oregon, when she is not line dancing or spending time with her two grandchildren Katie and Zachary.

Debra Engelhardt-Nash

Debra has presented workshops nationally and internationally for numerous study groups and major dental meetings. She has written for a number of dental publications and honored twice as author of the year for her contributions to dental journals. Debra has been a guest instructor for the Central Piedmont Community College Dental Assisting Program, Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry and Oregon Health Sciences Continuing Dental Education. Debra is a founding member and served two terms as President of the National Academy of Dental Management Consultants. She is an active member of the American Dental Assistants Association. Debra is also a member of the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration and a fellow in the International Academy of Dental Facial Esthetics.

Because of her contributions to the industry of dentistry, Debra received the Kay Mosley Distinguished Service Award given by the American Dental Assistants Association Foundation in 2008. It is their highest honor.


After completing this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Ascertain the different ways dental photography can enhance a practice.
• Explain the difference between extra and intraoral cameras.
• Understand how various specialties as well as general dentistry can utilize photography.
• Be familiar with the parameters in obtaining good images.
• Understand the step by step technique on exposing photographs.
• Understand the importance of antemortem and postmortem photographs and how they play a part in forensic odontology.
• Discuss and explain the five basic shots of extraoral photographs.
• Be familiar with different means of camera disposal.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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