Types of Dental X-Rays Commonly Taken With Machines
Digital X-ray technology is advancing rapidly and more and more dentists are opting to utilize these X-ray systems instead of their analog counterparts. However, you might not know what to expect when your dentist uses digital X-ray machines. Read on to learn more.
1. Intraoral X-Rays
Intraoral X-rays help dentists locate cavities and examine the health of tooth roots and the jawbone that surrounds them. These X-rays can also help diagnose impacted teeth and other tooth eruption problems.
The three main types of intraoral X-rays taken today include bitewing, periapical, and occlusal X-rays. A bite-wing X-ray is typically used to hone in on one tooth or a few specific teeth that a dentist suspects may be affected by decay, trauma, or other problems. A periapical X-ray is taken when a problem with a tooth root or its surrounding bone is suspected. An occlusal X-ray captures an image of either all lower or all upper teeth to check for problems with tooth alignment and other problems that can affect an entire arch.
2. Extraoral X-Rays
Extraoral X-ray images are used to capture images of the teeth, jawbone, and skull to detect problems in these areas. While there are many types of extraoral X-rays, panoramic X-rays and tomograms are popular.
A panoramic X-ray captures an image of all top and bottom teeth to detect bite problems, oral tumors, and more. Tomograms hone in on more specific areas of the mouth and jawbone where problems are already suspected or may be difficult to view on a panoramic X-ray.
3. Dental Cone Beam CT
A dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) digital X-ray machine can be used to create 3-D images of the mouth and jaw, along with surrounding soft tissues and nerves. This machine captures images by projecting a cone-shaped X-ray beam around a patient's mouth and head. As the cone moves around the patient, the machine captures many unique X-ray images that it then uses to create one 3D image of a patient's teeth, jaw, and facial structures.
While these 3D X-rays are taken for a variety of purposes, they are often taken before dental implant placement to ensure the dentist knows exactly where all facial nerves are located to ensure they avoid damaging them during implant surgery.
If you have heard of digital dental X-rays, hopefully, you better understand your options. To learn more about digital X-ray machines, contact companies like VXS Imaging.