Many different types of dental x-ray images can easily be obtained. A dentist uses various x-rays in order to look for specific problems or just to check up on the general health of the teeth of his patient. A Bitewing Radiograph is used to get an accurate x-ray of the upper and lower teeth from the side of the mouth. A Periapical Radiograph can show several teeth as well as their roots and the jawbone they are in.

A complete series of x-rays usually includes a combination of both the bitewing and periapical radiographs, and a Panoramic Radiograph shows all of the teeth and portions of the jaw. These types of x-rays are taken digitally and can be saved to a computer where they can be transmitted electronically to another dental office or an insurance provider.

Intraoral and Extraoral X-Rays

There are two types of dental x-rays. There are intraoral which are the x-rays that are taken inside the mouth, and there are extraoral which are the x-rays taken outside of the mouth.

Intraoral X-rays involve placing a sensor inside of the mouth and are the most common type of X-rays taken at the dental office. These types of x-rays give a lot of information and detail and make it very easy for the dentist to locate cavities and check the health of the teeth and roots. This type of x-ray also makes it easy to check up on developing teeth and monitor the general health of teeth and the jawbone. Intraoral X-rays include Bite-wing X-rays, Periapical X-rays, and Occlusal X-rays.

Extraoral X-rays involve using a sensor on the outside of the mouth and can obtain information not only on the teeth but also on the jaw and skull. These X-rays do not provide as much detail as the intraoral X-rays do, but they are effective in looking for impacted teeth, and can help to monitor growth and the development in the jaw. Extraoral X-rays include Panoramic X-rays, Tomograms, Cephalometric projections, Sialography, and CT scans.

This kind of X-ray can also make it possible to detect any problems between the jaw and teeth as well as the temporo-mandibular joint or any other bones in the face.

Digital Imaging

A new type of x-ray is known as digital imaging. These types of X-rays are sent directly to a computer and can be immediately viewed on a screen, stored, or even printed. There are many advantages to using this new technology.

With this special technique, there is much less radiation involved than the usual method of taking X-rays. The images taken can also be enhanced and enlarged if needed. It is easy to send the images to another specialist or dentist if a second opinion is needed. Certain software programs can help dentists to compare current images to previous ones to detect changes that would be difficult to see with the naked eye.

X-rays are an excellent and efficient way to maintain the overall health of patients and is also a painless method. It is a very accurate way to find any problems before they get out of hand.

If you’d like more information, or to make an appointment for a dental exam, contact the office of Dr. Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. in San Marcos, TX.