Dental X-rays are used much more than just for detecting tooth decay and cavities. Dentists also use them to survey teeth or bone anomalies, diagnose dental disorders and/or prepare orthodontic treatment. With dental X-rays, dentists can now perform these oral surveys without the need of direct visual exam, making the procedure comfortable and convenient for the patient.
But did you know there are different types of dental X-rays used by dentists for different occasions? You may have seen one but you haven’t seen them all; each one has various uses, depending on the goal. Here are the five kinds of dental X-rays:
- Bitewing X-ray: Also known as the cavity-detecting x-ray, this is used to view and capture tooth decay and cavities that cannot be seen directly usually located in the back of the mouth.
- Periapical X-ray: This is used to view the bone structure of the teeth. It allows the dentist to see the child patient’s permanent teeth growing beneath the baby teeth.
- Panoramic X-ray: This is probably the most commonly used type of dental X-ray today since it allows the dentist a full view of all the patient’s teeth, upper and lower jaws and temporomandibular joints. Dentists use this if the patient incurs injuries to the face or is suffering from an orthodontic problem.
- Occlusal X-ray: This serves the same purpose as the panoramic X-ray to view the patient’s upper and lower teeth.
- Orthodontic X-ray: Dentists use this if they need to view the patient’s head from the side and to evaluate the jaws or bones of the skull.