Digital Radiography (Dental X-Rays)
Dental X-rays are pictures of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues around them to help find problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. X-ray
pictures can show cavities, hidden dental structures (such as wisdom teeth), and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination. Dental
X-rays may also be done as follow-up after dental treatments.
The following types of dental X-rays are commonly used. The X-rays use small amounts of radiation.
- Bitewing X-rays show the upper and lower back teeth and how the teeth touch each other in a single view. These X-rays are used to check for
decay between the teeth and to show how well the upper and lower teeth line up. They also show bone loss when severe gum disease or a dental
infection is present.
- Periodical X-rays show the entire tooth, from the exposed crown to the end of the root and the bones that support the tooth. These X-rays
are used to find dental problems below the gum line or in the jaw, such as impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, tumors, and bone changes linked to
- Occlusal X-rays show the roof or floor of the mouth and are used to find extra teeth, teeth that have not yet broken through the gums, jaw
fractures, a cleft in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate), cysts, abscesses, or growths. Occlusal X-rays may also be used to find a foreign
- Panoramic X-rays show a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular (jaw) joints. These X-rays do not find
cavities. These X-rays do show problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, solid growths (tumors), infections,