Dental X-rays are one of the most important tools that dentists have at their disposal. These detailed pictures of the mouth and specific teeth let dentists see things like tooth decay, tooth placement and growth over time. They’re the guidebooks that dentists use to keep your teeth in good shape. Below we’ll go over the different types of X-rays and why we choose to use each kind.
The Different Forms of Dental X-Rays
Bite Wing X-rays are X-rays of the molars and the bicuspids or the teeth directly in front of the molars. These rear-ward X-rays are taken by having you bite down on a special wing tool. They show a clear picture to determine if there is tooth decay between the molars and bicuspid teeth at the back of the mouth.
Periapical X-rays are full-tooth X-rays that are similar to bite-wing X-rays. They look at the full tooth from crown down to root. These focus in on a single tooth at a time. These detailed X-rays are for specific patients with a need for detail.
Occlusal X-rays are more wide-spread X-rays that focus on the whole arch of teeth at once. They usually come in children so we can look at tooth development overall. Plus, they help determine how teeth are placing in the jaw. They come in upper jaw and lower jaw forms.
Extraoral X-rays are the biggest picture form of dental X-rays and they are taken outside of the mouth entirely. They look at the mouth itself. However, they can also look at sections of the skull and the jaw that inside-mouth X-rays simply can’t see. They’re generally only taken in special circumstances, such as when TMJ correction is necessary.
With so many different dental X-ray types available, top quality dentists have all the information they need to keep your teeth in excellent shape. To really stay on top of your tooth health, make sure that you’re getting the right treatment for your mouth. Come see our office at Aten and Garofalo Dentistry in Charlotte North Carolina. We’ll evaluate your mouth, take the proper X-rays and help you keep your teeth in top shape.