Along with keeping our teeth looking white and attractive, we visit the dentist to avoid unseen problems before they erupt into major concerns. Our Pineville dentist can see certain issues with a physical exam, but, some oral diseases start deep within the gum and can only be detected with dental x-rays. There are several different types of x-rays, and each serves a specific purpose. X-rays can expose hidden teeth, bone loss and problems with the jaw. However, each type can help the dentist see oral infections, gum disease, certain types of tumors and even cavities at their earliest stages.
Periapical x-rays show the whole tooth from the crown, past the root to the bones that support the tooth. This type of x-ray is mainly used to find problems that are in the jaw or below the gum line such as abscesses, impacted teeth, cysts, bone loss and tumors. The first time a patient visits a local dentist office, a full-mouth series of Periapical x-rays is usually taken.
Panoramic x-rays show the whole lower part of the face including the jaws, nasal area, sinuses, teeth and temporomandibular joints. This type of x-ray doesn’t show cavities. It will show impacted teeth, cysts, tumors, bone abnormalities, fractures and infections.
Bitewing x-rays show almost all the teeth in a single view. The dentist can see how the teeth line up and where they touch each other as well as see decay between the teeth. If the patient has severe gum disease or dental infection, the x-ray will show bone loss. Our Pineville dentist will use bitewing x-rays during regular checkups to see if any tooth decay has started. Apply named, bitewing x-rays are taken when the patient bites on the x-ray film. These don’t show the front teeth, so a Periapical x-ray of the both the upper and lower front teeth may be taken at the same visit.
Occlusal x-rays are used to find teeth that have not yet broken through the gums. They show the floor and roof of the mouth and are mainly used to see jaw fractures, cleft in the roof of the mouth, cysts, growths or abscesses.
Modern technology has made dental x-rays safe. The level of radiation is reduced to miniscule amounts, and, the local dentist office takes even more precautions. Dental x-rays safeguard your dental health and help prevent serious illness from developing in the gums, jaw and teeth.