What are dental X-rays?
If you have visited the dentist regularly as an adult, you have probably received a dental x-ray. Dental x-rays are an important diagnostic tool for dentists, and at Smile Wright Dental we use them in our young patients to achieve comprehensive dental care. We can see cavities and other problems in the x-ray images so we can take care of them before they become serious. Dental x-rays also let us evaluate parts of your child’s teeth, gums, and bone that we cannot otherwise see. Before we begin the x-rays, a lead apron is placed over our patient’s bodies to prevent exposure to radiation. This diagnostic test is completely safe and painless, and we recommend having it annually. If we feel that more x-rays are needed to evaluate and diagnose your child’s oral health, we will discuss the concerns and treatment plans in advance with you.
What are the types of dental X-rays?
There are five types of dental x-rays that we perform in office:
- Bitewing – This image shows between the teeth, where cavities can’t be seen with an unaided eye. This type of x-ray is only required once a patient’s back teeth touch.
- Periapical – This x-ray shows crowns and roots of teeth, as well as the supporting bone. The image allows us to view and monitor and your child’s adult teeth are growing.
- Panoramic – This x-ray is typically the most comprehensive image. It is used to view all teeth, the upper and lower jaws, and the sinuses in a single picture. It is used when a patient has suffered facial trauma or is unable to hold a film in their mouth. It does require the patient to sit still for 12-18 seconds.
- Occlusal – If your child has difficulty holding the film in their mouth, we recommend an occlusal x-ray. This image shows both the upper and lower teeth in one image.
- Orthodontic x-rays – If your child is being evaluated for the need for orthodontia, we will do orthodontic x-rays. The film shows the entire head from the side and allows our dentists to evaluate your child’s bite and jaw growth.
If you want to learn more about dental x-rays or want to find out if your child needs them, contact us today.