Dental X-rays are images taken of teeth, jaw bones, and tissues to help dentists find potential issues with your overall oral health. The X-rays can show us areas of decay, cavities, and bone loss that can’t be seen by a visual exam.
Dental X-rays must be taken before any dental treatments are performed to make sure the dentist is fully aware of all potential risks such as hidden dental structures and long-term grinding. Here are some other things X-rays can show us:
- Small areas of decay in the teeth or below fillings
- Bone diseases
- Abscesses or cysts
- Signs of periodontal (gum) disease
- Developmental and other defects
- Some types of tumors
- Positions of tooth roots and jaw bones
- Signs of trauma
* Digital xrays are 1/6 of the radiation of film xrays
Types of commonly used X-rays and what they show us:
- Bitewing: upper and lower teeth at the back.
- Periapical: single entire tooth, from the exposed top to the roots and the supporting jaw bone.
- Occlusal: the roof or floor of the patients mouth.
- Panoramic: Jaw, teeth, and even sinuses!