Types Of Dental X-Rays

September 28, 2017 by Dr. John
Types Of Dental X-Rays

Anyone that has ever had a dental checkup is familiar with x-rays. You are draped in a lead apron and given a rectangular contraption that you bite down on until you hear little beep. Have you ever wondered what the different types of dental x-rays are and what they’re for? Let’s take a closer look the most common types of dental x-rays.

Panoramic X-Rays

Has a dental professional ever had you stand still on a circular platform for several seconds while a machine spun around your head? Then you’ve had a panoramic X-ray. This is the most common type of extraoral (outside of the mouth) dental X-ray.

With panoramic x-rays, we can see your entire mouth in one image. This is because the camera moves all the way around your head while taking the picture. These X-rays show all erupted and unerupted teeth in your mouth, including incoming adult teeth and wisdom teeth. It also shows impacted teeth, which is how we determine if there’s enough room for these teeth to come in or if they will even come in on their own. Panoramic X-rays are also very useful for detecting issues such as abscesses, cysts, and tumors.

Bitewing X-Rays

Just as the name implies, bitewings are the x-rays where the patient has to bite down on a piece of dental film while the image is taken. Because the dental film is inside your mouth, bitewing x-rays are a type of intraoral (inside the mouth) x-ray. Typically, there will be 4 bitewings taken— one for each of the four quadrants of your mouth.

Bitewing x-rays are used to see the crevices between your teeth, which are difficult to see with the naked eye. With these images, we can check for tooth decay and other dental issues, such as periodontal disease in those areas.

Periapical X-Rays

This intraoral x-ray is the close-up of each tooth, showing the entire root and surrounding bone. If you are experiencing pain in  a specific tooth or area of the mouth, we will probably take a periapical x-ray to get a clear idea of what is going on in that area. Occasionally, periapical x-rays are taken alongside bitewing x-rays for preventative measures even if you aren’t aware of an obvious tooth problem.

We hope this gives you a better understanding of the types of dental x-rays and how each one is used in your dental evaluation. We like for all of our patients to have a clear understand of all their dental treatments so that you are more relaxed and can enjoy a pleasant dental visit. Call Westchase Premier Dental for your next dental checkup and cleaning at (813) 475 – 4528. We look forward to seeing you!


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