I often use images taken with the camera attached to the microscope as part of documentation, communication with the referring dentist or patient education.
In this post, lets pay attention to photographs illustrating the use of a concept of liquid surface tension and cappilary adhesion. I call it a “water bending” or a “prism” effect.
Water, or any liquid for that matter exhibits surface tension which is related to the cohesive properties of water (molecules “stick” to each other), and capillary action which in turn is related to adhesive properties of water (molecules “stick” to the surface of an object).
Note, the image above of an access opening: cant see the canals well unless the walls of the prep would be flared quite a bit.
The image below is taken of the same exact access opening but with a little hypochloride liquid in the access. Due to surface tension and capillary adhesion, the liquid bends inside the prep and with proper illumination we can see all four canals nicely.
Same access with liquid in it
Due to a “water bending effect” we can clearly see four canals through a very conservative access opening.
Access, "water bending effect"
The “water bending effect” has limited clinical applications. Occasionally during apical surgery, I use it to view/detect lingual canals and to see where the ultrasonic tip should go with out changing the position/angle of the microcsope.
Image below shows an osteotomy for an apical surgery tooth #14.
Note minimally angled resection of the MB root (I try to get as close to 90 degrees resection as possible to minimize the number of exposed dentinal tubules), cant see the canals unless we look at this resection from a slightly different angle.
MB root of #14 resected
Next image was taken from the same angle as the first one but with a little saline in the surgical crypt. Now we can see gutta percha/sealer due to a water bending effect, and the ultrasonic instrumentation can immediately start with out repositioning of the microscope.
Water bending effect
MTA in MB1-MB2 with isthmus and DB
Although its clinical implications are minimal, the “water bending” or a “prism” effect is really cool and can be used in dental photography as an educational tool.