There are different types of dental X-rays, and the type of X-ray needed will depend on the situation. Some are diagnostic, some are routine, and some are only required under certain circumstances. Read on to get an overview of the main different types X-rays we might take at our office and to get an idea of what purpose certain types of X-rays are typically going to serve in your dental health.
Bite-wing X-rays. These are the most common type of dental X-ray, taken as part of a routine visit, usually once or twice per year depending on individual needs and other factors. Bite-wing images help show the inner sides of back molar teeth – molars have large side surfaces, and those surfaces that are next to each other are not possible to see without X-rays. So with bite-wing X-rays you get a look inbetween all those back teeth to detect any possible decay that is not visible to the eye or with probing or other testing methods. These X-rays can also help detect loss of bone density due to periodontal disease. Bite-wing X-rays usually do not show the entire tooth root though.
Periapical X-ray. This is an X-ray focused on a full, whole tooth from the bone surrounding the root tip to the crown. This is the type of X-ray that is commonly required in the presence of a toothache in order to detect the cause… decay, abscess, fracture, problems with root structure, or other conditions that need immediate diagnosis.
Full mouth X-rays. The full mouth X-ray series is a set of multiple X-ray images covering the entire mouth, including every tooth and all the front teeth and back teeth, two teeth per image. This series can be a good diagnostic and preventive tool to check the entire mouth for things like cavities, bone loss or periodontal conditions, and inspect inner dental structures periodically.
Panoramic X-ray. A panoramic X-ray shows the entire mouth, both jaws and all the teeth, on a single X-ray image. This type of X-ray is useful for detecting the position of all teeth as well as emerging, un-erupted, and impacted teeth. Panoramic X-rays have a high importance for facilitating orthodontic treatment, for example.
These common X-rays are frequently taken at Mall Of Georgia Dentistry and they can all help support your smile. This is not a comprehensive list of all the different types of dental x-rays there are, there are other types not included in this overview. Various dental X-rays can help improve your dental and oral health in many ways, from finding cavities while they are still small, to diagnosing an infection, to facilitating orthodontic treatment. Dental x-rays are great tools to help you keep a bright healthy smile!