X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental treatment plan. It is a picture of teeth/bone that aids in the diagnosis of any abnormalities in the mouth. It allows the dentist or hygienist to see problems with the teeth or jaw that may not have been visible with a routine visual examination.
Bite-Wing provides a visual of both the lower and upper posterior (back) teeth. This type of x-ray shows how these teeth touch one another and helps to determine if decay is present.
Periapical provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown to the bone that helps to support the tooth.
Panoramic provides a view of the teeth, jaws, nasal area, sinuses and the joints of the jaw. It is typically taken when a patient needs orthodontic treatment or dental implants.
Occlusal provides a clear view of the floor of the mouth to show the bite of the upper or lower jaw. This type highlights children’s tooth development to show the primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth.
Without using x-rays, dentists may miss decay that is beginning to form between the teeth. By the time a cavity, that begins between the teeth, is large enough to be detected without radiograph the tooth often needs a much larger filling. Sometimes the cavity is large enough that the tooth needs a root canal because the bacteria got deep enough to infect the nerve of the tooth.