The Different Types of Dental X-Rays

February 16, 2016 | Posted in Education

If you’ve visited the dentist before, you probably know a bit about dental x-rays (also known as radiographs). Dentists use x-rays as a tool to help them diagnose potential oral health problems. X-rays are a type of light wavelength that passes through soft tissue such as your cheeks and gums, but gets absorbed by dense tissue such as your teeth and bones, allowing them to be visible on an x-ray image.
 
There are two main categories of dental x-rays, intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral x-rays are a type of x-ray that is taken inside the mouth, whereas an extraoral x-ray is taken outside the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are the most common type, as they give a high level of detail of the teeth and bone in the mouth. They allow dentists to find cavities, see the status of developing teeth, look at tooth roots, and more.
 
The most common types of intraoral x-rays are:

  • Periapical - This type of x-ray provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown all the way to the bone that supports the tooth.

  • Bite-Wing - Shows details of both upper and lower teeth in a specific area of the mouth. This type of x-ray can show your dentist how your teeth touch one another.

  • Occlusal - These x-rays are larger and show full tooth development and position.

 
Extraoral x-rays are less common, the most popular one being a panoramic x-ray. A panoramic x-ray shows a full view of the jaw, teeth, and even sinuses.
 
If you have questions about the different types of dental x-rays, or are interested in getting one for yourself, contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475!