What Are the Various Types of Dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays are the pictorial images of the inside of your mouth and depict problems related to your teeth, bones, and tissues surrounding the jaws. These images are recorded with the help of X-ray cameras, and enable your dentist to determine and provide applicable treatment to your dental problem well in advance during its development. Dental X-rays can prove to be quite economical, convenient, and maybe at times a life-saving option for you.

Dental technology is now getting upgraded to enhance the safety and convenience of dental X-rays procedures. Dental X-rays also bring up other concerns for patients, like the duration of film development and environmental issues. Dentists are able to handle such issues through digital radiography or digital dental X-rays, a high-tech alternative to conventional dental X-rays.

What Are the Various Types of Dental X-rays?

You should know about the various types of dental X-rays that enable your dentist to customize the treatments based on your needs, and also help prevent severe dental health problems. Normally, dental X-rays are of two types: intraoral X-rays and extraoral X-rays.

X-rays have become the essential part of dental procedures. These are available in various types for different purposes.

Intraoral X-rays

These are the most common and often seen X-rays. The use of intraoral X-rays ranges from finding cavities that may be present in the teeth to check the health of teeth roots, viewing an upcoming tooth, and monitoring the health of jaws and bones.

Depending upon their use in a particular section of the mouth, intraoral X-rays are classified as:

  1. Bitewing X-rays: It will show the details of both the upper and lower teeth in a single view. It is best used for checking bacteria which grow in-between the teeth and for checking the fitting of the crowns.
  2. Periapical X-rays: It shows the entire tooth- from the crown to the root beyond and where the tooth fixes into the jaw. It normally detects any weird change in the root surrounding the bone structure.
  3. Occlusal X-rays: These are larger X-rays and display entire tooth development and placement of entire arch of teeth either located in the upper or lower jaw.

Extraoral X-rays

Dentists use extraoral X-rays to determine problems in your jaw or skull. It does not display the minute details as done by intraoral X-rays, so they are not good enough to locate cavities or bacteria between the teeth.

Extraoral cameras are very effective in detecting problems with salivary glands, mouth tumors, and in seeing structures which can’t be easily seen with other X-rays.

Extraoral X-rays are broadly classified into:

  1. Panoramic: It shows the entire mouth area in a single x-ray which includes both upper and lower jaws. Panoramic X-ray detects the position of emerging as well as fully emerged teeth.
  2. Tomograms: It shows one particular layer and blurs the other layers. Tomograms can examine structures which are difficult to be located properly due to the blockage caused by nearby structures.

Here is some information about dental X-rays that you should know:

Are Dental X-rays Considered Safe?

With the advancement in the field of dentistry, several measures have been undertaken over the years to minimize the risks linked to dental X-rays. When these X-rays are carried out properly with sufficient safety precautions in accordance with the established guidelines, there’s hardly any reason for concern. Dental X-rays generate a low level of radiation that is considered harmless.

Are Digital Dental X-rays Safe?

Digital dental X-rays produce a very low level of radiation, which is just a tiny part of what you get exposed to during other imaging procedures. While conventional dental X-rays are relatively safe, digital radiography is an excellent option for those who take X-rays on a regular basis or for those who are concerned about radiation.

How Much Radiation Do You Get Exposed to During a Dental X-ray?

Luckily, the amount of radiation you get exposed to during your dental X-rays is little, particularly if your dentist is using digital X-rays. Based on the kind of film used, exposure to radiation can be minimized to as much as 90 percent by converting from film to digital.

What Shows Up on a Dental X-ray?

With the help of dental X-rays, your dentist can clearly visualize the problem areas of your teeth and surrounding tissue that are not possible with a simple oral exam. Additionally, dental X-ray pictures can specifically reveal cavities, obscure dental structures (like your wisdom teeth), and bone loss.

What Is a PA X-ray in Dentistry?

Panoramic or PA X-rays display a wide view of the specific spot in your mouth like jaws, teeth, sinuses, and so on. These X-rays reveal problems that include affected teeth, abnormalities of bone, cysts or tumors etc.

How Often Do You Require Dental X-rays?

Depending on your medical and dental history as well as your existing condition the frequency of getting dental X-rays of your teeth may vary. Some people may require X-rays approximately every six months while others with good dental health and who visit regularly their dentist may need X-rays less often. X-rays have become an essential part of dental procedures. Understanding the various types of dental X- rays facilitates you in selecting the best options according to your requirements.

Reign Dental based at Shoreline & Milton, WA uses various X-rays for detecting and highlighting dental problems. For more information, call us at (206) 946-6471

                                                 Make an Appointment Today for Various Types of Dental X-rays Shoreline Milton WA

Also Read: Basic First Aid Tips for Common Tooth Injuries


Reign Dental

Reign Dental is one of the most sought after dental care providers in Seattle area to offer complete dental care. We are among a few dental clinics that provide a wide range of dentistry services including oral & maxillofacial surgery, TMJ treatment, Botox, orthodontics, periodontics and all other advanced dental solutions. Highly professional dentists working with us specialize in dental implants, bone grafting, smile makeover and oral surgery. We are well-known for our safe and patient-specific care approach. We offer affordable and quality dental care services. We make sure that our customers walk out of our clinic with a big beautiful smile.

Dental X-rays

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