LOW DOSE DIGITAL X-RAYS

Low dose digital dental radiographs can be taken inside (intraoral) or outside (extraoral) the mouth. Intraoral X-rays, the most commonly taken dental X-ray, provide great detail and are used to detect cavities, check the status of developing teeth and monitor teeth and bone health. Extraoral X-rays do not provide the detail of intraoral X-rays and are not used to identify individual tooth problems. However, they are used to detect impacted teeth, monitor jaw growth and development, and identify potential problems between teeth, jaws and temporomandibular joints (TMJ), or other facial bones.

Types of intraoral X-rays include:

Bitewing X-rays, which are taken with the patient biting down on film, show details of the upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth. Each bitewing shows a tooth from its crown (top) to about the level of the supporting bone. Bitewing X-rays are used to detect decay between teeth and changes in bone density caused by gum disease, as well as to determine the fit of dental crowns or restorations, and the marginal integrity of tooth fillings.

Periapical (limited) X-rays shower the whole tooth from the crown to beyond the root tips to the supporting bone in one area of either the upper or lower jaw. Periapical X-rays are used to detect root structure and surrounding bone structure abnormalities. Showing bone loss around each tooth, periapical X-rays aid in treating conditions such as periodontitis, advanced gum disease, and detecting endodontic lesions (abscess).

Types of extraoral X-rays include:

Panoramic (Panorex) X-rays, which require a machine that rotates around the head, show the entire mouth, including all the teeth in the upper and lower arch, in one image. Panoramic X-rays are used to plan treatment for dental implants, detect impacted wisdom teeth and jaw problems, and diagnose bony tumors and cysts.

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