What are the Types of Dental Radiographs Commonly Evaluated at Your Dental Appointment?
Dental radiographs are used at your dental appointments to diagnose the health or
disease of your oral cavity and surrounding structures. Without these views, it would be very difficult to properly diagnose tooth decay, abscesses, cysts, tumors, bone loss, positioning of the teeth or impacted teeth, and areas of infection. The following three types of radiographs are commonly used at preventive care appointments.
Bitewings radiographs are taken on the both sides of the mouth to show the upper and lower teeth in one area. They do not show the roots of your teeth. They are commonly known as cavity detecting X-rays as they can identify decay between the teeth and under or around existing dental work. These X-rays can also show us
levels of bone loss to help diagnose gum disease.
A periapical radiograph is used to evaluate specific teeth and will show the entire tooth, and surrounding bone. This type of X-ray can help diagnose decay, bone loss, abscesses and any other abnormalities of your tooth or surrounding bone.
A panoramic radiograph shows all of the structures in your mouth on a single image. This is taken by an X-ray machine that rotates around the head and will show your upper and lower teeth, jaw joints, nerves, sinuses and supporting bone. This radiograph does not allow the detail needed to diagnose cavities, but shows a much larger area to give a greater view of overall oral health.