Dental X-rays, or radiographs, are images of teeth that allow the dentist to evaluate the oral health of your teeth. These images can help the dentist diagnose dental cavities, gum disease, infection and impacted teeth in your mouth. Our office uses digital sensors to capture the image and store in our computers. This method requires low radiation compared to previous techniques of dental films. However, we still use lead aprons to protect our patients from any scattered radiation. Dental x-rays are beneficial to diagnose any dental issue and are used as a preventative measure in conjunction with your routine dental cleaning.
TYPES OF X-RAYS
There are two different types of x-rays that are taken in our office. The panoramic x-ray is taken in one image to evaluate the bone surrounding the teeth. This type of x-ray is used to evaluate third molars (wisdom teeth) as well as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues. In addition, panoramic x-rays are used to help determine if a patient will need orthodontic treatment. However, these x-rays aren’t used to detect cavities because the image is too far away.
The other type of x-rays used in our office are called intraoral x-rays such as bitewing, periapical or occlusal. These images are close up x-ray’s consisting of only 1-3 teeth. Bitewing x-rays are images of the upper and lower teeth, while periapical x-rays are an image of the whole tooth including the root tip. Both are used to diagnose cavities or infections. Lastly, the occlusal x-ray is used to get a clear view of the floor of the mouth, either upper or lower, and helps determine where baby teeth could be forming.
Dental x-rays are recommended yearly (or biyearly) to help our dentist determine the best treatment for you.
WARNING: If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, please inform your dental provider.