A dental X-ray is an invaluable tool that we use to help you keep your teeth healthy and clean. Your dental X-rays will provide Dr. Nora Balota and our dental hygienists to view the structures of your mouth, notice any abnormalities, and diagnose problems in the teeth and jawbone.
PURPOSES OF DENTAL X-RAYS
There are many reasons why you may need to have dental X-rays taken at our office. Some of these reasons include:
Detection of tooth decay, especially if it’s in areas too small to see with the naked eye
Detection of decay or infection underneath an existing crown or filling
Allowing Dr. Balota to find any cracks or damage to crowns or fillings
Alerting us to any possible bone loss caused by gum disease or periodontitis
Detection of any abnormalities in the soft tissues, including cancer, cysts, lymphoma, or Paget’s disease
Allowing us to put together a treatment plan based on the unique bone structures of your mouth
TYPES OF DENTAL X-RAYS
There are two main types of dental X-rays, known as intraoral X-rays (when the X-ray film is placed inside the mouth) and extraoral X-rays (when the X-ray film is placed outside the mouth). They are each described below:
These types of X-rays are the most common kinds used in dental offices. If you’ve made regular visits to the dentist, chances are that you’ve received a few sets of intraoral X-rays. These types of X-rays are used to find evidence of tooth decay, dental cavities, and to view the roots of the teeth. There are three different types of intraoral X-rays, which are:
Bitewing X-Rays – This type of X-ray allows Dr. Balota to view the crowns of your teeth. Each X-ray will show the upper and lower teeth in one portion of the mouth.
Periapical X-Rays – During a periapical X-ray, Dr. Balota will be able to view the teeth from the crown to the root in one section of the mouth, instead of just the crown portion.
Occlusal X-Rays – Lastly, occlusal X-rays are quite a bit larger and are able to show the placement and development of the teeth. On each occlusal X-ray, almost the full arch of the upper or lower jaw is shown.
Extraoral X-rays are taken from the outside of the mouth, and their main focus is on the skull and jawbones. These types of X-rays are taken to monitor the growth and the development of the bones, and to view impacted teeth. Additionally, if you suffer temporomandibular joint problems, this is the type of X-ray we’ll use to view the problem. Because these types of X-rays are less detailed than intraoral X-rays, they aren’t used to detect decay, cavities, or problems in an individual tooth.
If you have any concerns regarding your dental X-rays, please don’t hesitate to contact Balota Family Dentistry here in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and address any concerns.