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Digital Radiography is also known as Dental X-rays.

Dental X-rays are pictures of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues around them to help find problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. X-ray pictures can show cavities, hidden dental structures (such as wisdom teeth), and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination. Dental X-rays may also be done as follow-up after dental treatments.

The following types of dental X-rays are commonly used. The X-rays use small amounts of radiation.


*Only small amounts of radiation are used. ​

  • Bitewing X-rays

    • Show the upper and lower back teeth and how the teeth touch each other in a single view.

    • Used to check for decay between the teeth and to show how well the upper and lower teeth line up

    • Show bone loss when severe gum disease or a dental infection is present

  • Periodical X-rays

    • Show the entire tooth, from the exposed crown to the end of the root and the bones that support the tooth

    • Used to find dental problems below the gum line or in the jaw

      • EX: impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, tumors, and bone changes linked to some diseases

  • Occlusal X-rays

    • Show the roof or floor of the mouth

    • Used to find:

      • Extra teeth 

      • Teeth that have not yet broken through the gums

      • Jaw fractures

      • A cleft in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate)

      • Cysts

      • Abscesses

      • Growths

    • Occlusal X-rays may also be used to find a foreign object

  • Panoramic X-rays

    • Show a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular (jaw) joints

    • Do not find cavities

    • Do show problems such as:

      • Impacted teeth

      • Bone abnormalities

      • Cysts

      • Solid growths (tumors)

      • Infections

      • Fractures.

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