Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of X-rays used for dental purposes. They allow the dentist or dental assistant to find any cavities, check the roots of the teeth and the bone surrounding the teeth. There are 3 main types of Intraoral X-rays, which are:
- Bite-wing X-rays: This type of X-ray shows the details of both the upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth. These X-rays are used to detect any decay between the teeth and any changes in bone density caused by gum disease. They can also help determine the correct fit of a crown and the integrity of fillings.
- Periapical X-rays: These X-rays show the entire tooth, from the crown all the way past the end of the root to where the tooth is anchored in the jaw. They are used to detect any abnormalities in the tooth and root structure.
- Occlusal X-rays: This kind of X-ray is much larger and shows full tooth placement and development. Each X-ray shows the entire set of teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.
The main focus of an Extraoral X-ray is the jaw and the skull. They don’t provide the detail that Intraoral X-rays do. Extraoral X-rays are used to look for impacted teeth, to identify problems between the teeth and the jaws, and to check out the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
What about radiation exposure?
Exposure to any type of radiation can be damaging to your health. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you’ll be exposed to during your dental X-rays is incredibly small. Many advances have been made in dentistry over the years, and the risks of X-rays have been greatly minimized. However, if you’re concerned about radiation exposure due to dental X-rays, please address your concerns with Dr. Jose Lopez.