Anyone who’s been to an orthodontist will have seen a dental mirror. From the perspective of dental professionals, these tools are, in the words of Texas A&M University’s publication Dentistry Insider, “basic yet crucial component[s] of dentistry.” Those words ring even truer when you consider how the dental applications of mirrors extend well beyond the handheld tools that are used to inspect the development of a potential cavity or the encroachment of depredation along the gums that could be an early sign of periodontitis.
Arguably, the most valuable dental mirrors are those employed in the context of intra-oral photography, creating the ideal environments of light reflectivity to capture high-quality images of patients’ teeth and gums.
Dental mirrors require the right optical coating to reflect light at the level of quality required by orthodontic professionals – which is precisely what the Riofoto™ line of rhodium-coated dental mirrors offers.
- Undeniable strength and durability
Rhodium’s remarkable resistance to corrosion factors greatly into its established reputation for strength, as does its extremely high melting point of 3,567 degrees Fahrenheit (1,964 Celsius). When alloyed with platinum or palladium, it offers an added dimension of hardness and durability that is critical for laboratory equipment and medical devices.
- Vast superiority to stainless steel
Stainless steel is hardly uncommon as a material for conventional mirrors you’d see in the home, and it may be tempting to consider it for optical applications due to its low cost. But steel is far less durable than other metals and sustains scratches easily when compared to noble metals. Professional dental photographer Rick Spaulding attests that steel mirrors produce a darker image compared to a glass mirror featuring a quality reflective coating like rhodium.
- Shines brighter
Rhodium, chromium, and titanium are the three most common reflective metal coatings used on mirrors designed for intra-oral photography. Some believe that these materials are essentially interchangeable for dental mirrors – Spaulding claimed as much in his aforementioned blog post. However, despite sharing a number of positive characteristics, including corrosion resistance, hardness, and stronger-than-average reflectivity, rhodium is notably superior to its counterparts. According to Ascot Diamonds, rhodium is as shiny as chromium but lighter in color, which allows for optimal reflectivity without potentially altering the light in a delicate dental photography setting. It’s also more resistant to tarnishing than either chromium or titanium, allowing mirrors coated with rhodium to last longer than their otherwise-coated counterparts.
- Reflectivity and toughness combined
For coatings intended for use in intra-oral photography, reflectivity represents one of the most important attributes. Light must be steered in the right direction through the ideal arrangement of mirrors to produce the best possible photographs. If images are dim or distorted, it could lead a dentist astray. Fortunately, rhodium boasts a very high reflectivity rating of 84%, according to American Elements. Although silver at 95% and aluminum at 90% offer higher reflectivity, they tarnish easily, which may cause the mirror to distort light and alter the image. Additionally, aluminum, despite its ability to withstand corrosion, is extremely vulnerable to fogging and oxidization. As such, rhodium offers the ideal combination of reflectivity, strength, and corrosion resistance for orthodontic purposes, especially in intra-oral photography.
EMF produces Riofoto dental mirrors coated with Rhodium on both sides for extended longevity. Riofoto mirrors boast higher reflectivity for clear crisp pictures and are able to withstand repetitive autoclaving offering longevity. The mirrors come in 12 shapes, including buccal, lingual & occlusal, designed for the ultimate comfort of adult and pediatric dental patients. Custom shapes and sizes are available upon request.