Medically known as radiographs, X-rays are the energy rays which are capable of penetrating through the soft tissues of the body and settling into the hard, dense tissue. Thus, the X-rays highlight the structure of your teeth in your mouth by settling into them and pass through the gum and cheeks.
X-rays are not only helpful in diagnosing the dental issue that you may have but also helps the doctor in preventing something minor into later turning into a major dental problem. Dental X-rays are divided into two major categories depending on the detail they offer, Intraoral and Extraoral. Here are the various types under them:
Offering more detail of the inside of the mouth, these X-rays are the most common. They are used to check upon different areas of the teeth find cavities, see, and monitor the tooth health. The X-rays under this category are:
- Bite-wing X-rays: Bite-wing X-rays are used to showcase the defects in upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth. These are helpful in detecting the presence or the extent of the gum disease. They also help in determining the decay of the tooth or proper fit of the crown as they show the teeth from their crown to the supporting bone.
- Periapical X-rays: These X-rays cover the whole tooth and even show the part where it attaches with the jaw. This is why, they showcase only the upper or the lower teeth. They are used to determine any changes or defects in the bone structure.
- Occlusal X-rays: Used on children, they are used to show the progress of the teeth and their placement inside the mouth. They are usually larger than most X-rays.
Extraoral X-rays aren’t as detailed as the intraoral ones. They’re however, bigger than the latter and are used to detect any problems that might be present in the jaw and the skull.
- Panoramic X-rays: Used especially to diagnose tumors, this X-ray shows the entire mouth area in a single X-ray. It showcases the positions of both emerging as well as emerged teeth and uses a special machine to show the upper and lower part in a single x-ray.
- Cephalometric Projections: These X-rays are used to determine the approach of teeth realignment of an individual. Thus, this X-ray covers only one side of the head and shows the teeth along with the jaw and side profile of the person.
- Cone Beam CT: This X-ray is used to identify tumors in mouth and face. It is also used to detect any problems in the gum, tissue, tooth implant placement, and more. This is achieved by taking 3-D images of the dental structure, nerves, soft tissues, and bone inside the mouth.
- Digital Imaging: Digital imaging capture 2-D images of the mouth of an individual that can be sent directly to a computer and viewed on a screen. This type of imagery helps the dentist notice even the tiniest of changes in the bone structure or any defect in the tooth. Therefore, it has a lot more advantages over the traditional X-rays.