Dental X-Rays - What Types Are There?
Whenever your dentist requires seeing more than is visible about your teeth, he would prescribe a dental X-Ray to be carried out.
There are two major types of dental X-Rays, i.e. intra-oral and extra-oral.
- Intra-oral X-Ray – This is the most common X-Ray. Everyone would have taken an intra-oral exam at one time or other in their life time. This enables your dentist to monitor the general health of the jawbone and teeth, check on how new teeth are developing, monitor the health of the tooth root and see caries clearly. This type is further classified into three sub-groups:
- Occlusal X-Ray – these are used when the dentists needs to see the entire arch of teeth of either the lower or upper jaw.
- Periapical X-Ray – with this, the Cambridge dentist would be able to see the whole tooth right from the top of the crown to its roots. These X-Ray help in diagnosing abnormalities of the jaw bone structure and the root.
- Bite-wing X-Ray – this shows a particular area of the mouth. This is used to detect cavities on the teeth and in-between, gum disease and changes in bone density.
- Extra-oral X-Ray – this shows the teeth, but its main focus is on the jaw bone and skull. These are meant to monitor and observe any abnormality in the jaw bone or skull that affects the health of teeth. This is also used to identify potential problems hidden between the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), jaw and teeth.
There are many types of extra-oral X-Rays as well that are meant to assist the dentist to make a correct diagnosis of the problem. Some of the sub-categories of extra-oral X-Rays are:
- Computed tomopgraphy (also known as CT scan) – this is conducted in the hospital and is used to detect tumors, problems with face bones and fractures of the jaw bone.
- Sialography – this is conducted with the help of a dye that is injected into the salivary glands. If the dentist suspects blockage of this gland, he would prescribe this.
- Tomograms – this type helps to see just a layer of the mouth. This is useful when it is difficult to examine the structures of teeth in the mouth.
- Panoramic X-Ray (the most common one) – this will show the whole mouth including the upper and lower jaws in one shot. This is used to diagnose tumors, hidden emerging teeth, detecting impacted teeth and so on.
At Fresh Pond Dental we only use digital X-ray equipment which is proven to emit less radiation then regular film X-rays.