What Is My Dentist Looking For In Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-Rays

Since most people have been taking dental X-rays since they were children, they may not have questioned what their dentists are looking for with the exam.

Here at Castle Rock Dental, our dentists utilize X-rays to provide you with the best quality dental care possible, as X-rays can help them identify a host of disguised dental problems.

Dentists Use X-Rays To Unveil Hidden Oral Issues

Once your X-rays are taken, our dentists will review them before performing their own examination of your oral health. Dentists do this to ensure no dental problems are missed. Our dentists look to see if you have:

  • Abscesses
  • Gum infection
  • Cavities
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Missing or developing teeth
  • Defective dental work

Some of these issues may be visible to the naked eye, but to make sure no problem is missed or misdiagnosed, our dentists use your X-rays to give you a thorough checkup. After problem areas are identified, our dentists can offer the right dental services and products.

Different X-Rays Are Used To Look For Certain Conditions

If you have gone to different dental offices, you may have noticed that not all dentists use the same kind of X-rays to look for these hidden issues. Dentists use different types of X-Rays to examine your mouth depending on what they are looking for during your appointment.

Intraoral X-rays

An intraoral X-ray refers to a type of X-ray where our dentists will place a dental tool in your mouth to assist with imaging. There are three types of intraoral X-rays.

Bite-wing X-rays – To take a bite-wing X-ray, our dentists will ask you to bite down on plastic that contains X-ray film. This type of X-ray is used to check a specific area in your mouth. Sometimes you will undergo multiple bite-wing X-rays to check for a range of dental health issues such as cavities lodged between teeth and gum disease.

Periapical X-rays – Using a rod with X-ray film, you will be asked to bite down on the device to take a periapical X-ray. This type of X-ray will provide a narrow view of one section of your mouth and is used to check for issues in the teeth-supporting bone as well as the roots of your teeth.

Occlusal X-rays – Performed very similarly to bite-wing X-rays, occlusal X-rays are most often used by pediatric dentists for children who have unerupted teeth to check on their development.

Extraoral X-rays

An extraoral X-ray is performed completely outside of your mouth. There is typically just one type of extraoral X-ray you will encounter at a general dentist office.

Panoramic X-rays – While biting down on a rod to keep your teeth evenly apart, a panoramic X-ray is used to take a panoramic view of your entire mouth, telling our dentists how everything in your mouth is doing.

There are other types of extraoral imaging with more advanced technology than you will find in a general dentist office. This dental technology is used to diagnose deeper dental concerns such as cysts, fractures, salivary gland issues, tumors, and other problems.

To find the best dental care in Billings, Montana, contact us here at Castle Rock Dental.

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