2 types of dental x-rays and 6 best forms of x-rays

The different types of Dental X-rays assist dentists in visualizing illnesses of the enamel and surrounding tissue that can’t be seen from a simple oral examination.

They additionally help the dentist locate and deal with dental issues early on, which can assist in preventing cash spending unnecessary discomfort, and maybe even your lifestyle.

Dental X-rays (radiographs) are pictures of your enamel that your dentist makes use of to evaluate your oral fitness.

These X-rays are used with low stages of radiation to capture images of the interior part of your tooth and gums. This can assist your dentist in becoming aware of troubles, like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted enamel.

Types of Dental X-rays

Regular cleanings and exams are part of caring for your oral health. However, X-rays also are commonly used to seize troubles before they arise and to diagnose current issues.

There are two cardinal types of dental X-rays namely;

  • Intraoral x-rays
  • Extraoral x-rays

Intraoral X-rays as the name implies are taken inside the oral cavity. These X-rays provide a lot of detail and allow your dentist to find cavities, check the health of the tooth root and bone surrounding the tooth, and other essential findings.

Extraoral X-rays show teeth, but their main focus is the jaw and skull. These X-rays do not provide the detail found with intraoral X-rays and therefore are not used for detecting cavities or for identifying problems with individual teeth.

Below are the specific forms of dental X-rays:

  • Bitewing X-ray
  • Periapical X-ray
  • Occlusal X-ray
  • Panoramic X-ray
  • Cephalometric projection
  • Cone beam X-ray

Bitewing X-Ray

Bitewing X-rays are enormously common and are a regular form of x-ray taken for preventative functions due to the fact they are a splendid way to see any decay between enamel or underneath the gumline.

The term bitewing comes from how patients have to bite down on the X-ray film. These types of X-rays may be taken properly in the dental chair.

Bitewing X-rays also are commonly used to find the source of teeth soreness. Many current dental offices don’t use film anymore.

Instead, they use a sensor, which sends the X-ray to the computer for evaluation with the aid of the dentist. This makes the procedure a bit faster due to the fact they don’t should develop the film.

Periapical X-Ray

Bitewings display the maximum of the teeth, but if your dentist needs an excellent view at the very entirety of your enamel or the jawbone, a periapical X-Ray is a better preference.

This type of X-ray captures a photograph of the entire enamel, along with a bit past the teeth root.

The X-ray normally captures the entire upper or decrease row of enamel in one picture. These sorts of X-rays may be used in case your dentist suspects harm to the tip of the enamel root or issues with the jawbone.

 Occlusal X-Ray

Occlusal X-rays are designed to capture what is going on in the roof or floor of the mouth, which allows the dentist to see complete teeth improvement and site.

This can be used to find out why teeth haven’t erupted yet or to identify supernumerary (greater) teeth, which could harm healthy long-lasting teeth.

This type of X-ray may also be used to diagnose a cleft palate or fracture. Hard-to-locate cysts, abscesses, or growths also can be noticed with an occlusal X-ray.

 Panoramic X-Ray

A panoramic X-ray uses a special gadget that takes one photo of your complete upper and decreased teeth.

The result is a 2-D picture of your 3-D mouth. If you are afflicted by common headaches or have had the most important dental work in the past, your dentist may propose a breathtaking X-ray every now and then to make sure nothing is brewing.

A panoramic X-ray can be used as a commonplace X-ray method and is often utilized in education for fundamental dental strategies which include getting braces.

Dentists additionally normally use it to diagnose foremost complications which include jaw tumors, cysts, and sinusitis.

 Cephalometric Projection

A cephalometric projection is an X-ray of one facet of the complete head. This is commonly used by orthodontists, as a way to see how the enamel and jawbones are in shape to better create a treatment plan that includes the entire mouth.

Your dentist may advocate this kind of X-ray to diagnose any throat headaches consisting of lumps or most cancers.

Last, in case you suffer from sleep apnea, dentists can frequently help, however, you might also show a cephalometric projection first to definitely see your throat shape and determine the reason for your sleep apnea.

 Cone Beam X-ray

CBCT, “cat-test” or “cone beam” x-rays are an imaging approach that uses computerized technology to convert 2-dimensional photos right into a three-dimensional (3-d) photo.

Compared to a conventional 2-dimensional x-ray that indicates a flat image, the three-D picture suggests each dimension and factor of the enamel and surrounding bone.

What this indicates to an affected person is a correct prognosis of a place of difficulty that would now not be possible without this technology.

This superior, extra genuine approach to the usage of dental cone beam imaging way fewer headaches, much less invasive remedy, faster healing instances, and ultimately higher outcomes for the affected person.

FAQs on Types of Dental X-ray

Below are the perfect answers to the most asked question about the different types of dental x-ray machines.

  • What are dental X-rays and why are they needed?

X-rays are a form of energy that can travel through or be absorbed by strong items. This electricity is absorbed by using dense items, which include teeth and bones, and show up in X-rays as mild-colored regions. X-rays bypass much less dense items, inclusive of gums and cheeks, and appear as darkish areas on X-ray film.

X-rays can help locate issues that can not be visible with an oral examination. Finding and treating issues early in their development may additionally prevent cash spending, avoid pain (if these issues are handled at a later time), and likely even preserve your lifestyle.

  • What forms of issues do X-rays help resolve?

X-rays assist your dentist in diagnosing problems in your teeth and jaws. In adults, X-rays show Decay, in particular small regions of deterioration between teeth, decay below present fillings, Bone loss in the jaw, and Changes in the bone or root canal due to contamination.

  • What are the distinct forms of dental X-rays?

There are two most important types of dental X-rays: intraoral (the X-ray film is within the mouth) and extraoral (the X-ray film is outside the mouth).

  • How regularly can one’s teeth be X-rayed?

How frequently X-rays need to be taken depends on your medical and dental history and modern situation. Some humans may additionally need X-rays as often as every six months.

Others who don’t have the latest dental or gum disorder and who’ve ongoing scheduled visits with their dentist may additionally only want X-rays every couple of years. New patients can also have X-rays taken at their first exam.

Children usually want more X-rays than adults because their teeth and jaws are still growing and because their enamel is more likely to be stricken by teeth decay than adults.

Adults with plenty of restorative paintings, inclusive of fillings: To search for decay under existing fillings or in new locations.

  • Are dental X-rays secure?

The amount of radiation emitted from X-rays is extremely small. Advances in dentistry along with X-ray machines that restrict the radiation beam to a small place; high-velocity X-rays; use of lead-covered, full-frame aprons; and federal laws that require accuracy and protection checks for X-ray machines are the various upgrades that restrict the number of radiation patients gets hold of.

  • What is a complete mouth X-ray referred to as?

A full mouth X-ray is known as Panoramic radiography, additionally called panoramic x-ray, is a -dimensional (2-D) dental x-ray examination that captures the whole mouth in an unmarried photograph, consisting of the teeth, upper and lower jaws, surrounding systems, and tissues.

  • What sort of X-rays do dentists use?

There’s a newer dental X-ray method that your dentist already can be the usage of or may additionally quickly be using.

It’s referred to as virtual imaging. Instead of developing an X-ray movie in a darkish room, the X-rays are dispatched directly to a laptop and may be considered on the display screen, saved, or published.

  • How do cavities look on X-rays?

In an X-ray, cavities are seen as dark areas in teeth.

  • What are white spots on tooth X-rays?

White spots can also seem to your enamel as a signal of early decay. These white spots are a sign of minerals that had been misplaced from the floor of your tooth.

  • Safety Precautions During Dental X-Rays

In addition to the technological upgrades to the machines, there also are various steps that dentists can take to guard you throughout your procedure.

  • Reduce Number of X-ray Images
  • Use Lowest Level of Radiation Setting on Equipment

Another step is to use the bottom stage of radiation on the device when feasible. This is a step this is particularly crucial for youngsters. Children have dental x-ray tactics carried out extra frequently because of the truth that their person teeth are growing in and their mouths are constantly changing.

  • Use Lead Apron Covering

Last, but certainly now not least, your dentist ought to always use a leaded covering to shield different parts of your body in the course of your dental x-rays. Lead aprons block the radiation before it could enter different elements of your frame.

This way your inner organs will avoid exposure without hindering the outcomes of your x-ray manner.

All these safety precautions will help minimize the already mild ranges of radiation of dental x-rays.


Dental X-rays may also appear complex, but they’re sincerely very not unusual tools that are simply as crucial as your teeth cleanings.

X-rays are a safe way to diagnose many oral complications. However, avoid your exposure to radioactive rays as long as you can.


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