by Brittany - When going to the dentist, you may be asked if it is alright if a dental professional can take a radiograph (x-ray) of your teeth. Some patients prefer not to have x-rays taken as they don't consider them necessary. The reasoning for dental x-rays is so that your dentist can take a diagnostic look at the inside of your teeth and surrounding area, rather than performing a visual clinical examination only. X-rays are taken to help benefit the patient and visually show them what exactly is going on in their mouth.
There are different types of x-rays that are taken when at the dentist. Some of them are:
- Bitewing x-rays: This x-ray is also known as a cavity detecting x-ray and shows in between the molars of the upper and lower teeth. This allows the dentist to see if there is any decay forming in between the teeth (an area that typically cannot be seen with a visual exam)
- PA ( Periapical) x-rays: These radiographs are a single image that shows a certain area of concern of a tooth. The dentist can see the tooth, roots, and area surrounding the tooth and can pinpoint anything of a major concern going on such as an infection.
- Occlusal x-rays: These x-rays are a picture of the floor and roof of your mouth. These pictures are often taken on children to help see if any teeth are erupting in the mouth.
- Panoramic x-rays: This is a single image that shows the full dentition (teeth) as well as jaw joints, tissues, facial and bone structures.
- Digital and intraoral photographs: Generally these pictures are taken to give a good visual representation of the patients mouth. For instance, if there is a tooth that could be problematic or surrounding gum tissue then these pictures come in handy so that the patient can see what the area exactly looks like.
Radiographs have a great amount of benefits and are important in helping patients maintain excellent oral health. They can also help detect abnormalities such as cysts, abscesses, infections and tumors as well. If you have any questions regarding dental x-rays please do not hesitate to ask at your next dental visit or you can give the office a call. We will be happy to address your questions or concerns!