Do you have a toothache? Are you seeing your dentist for a routine check-up? You’ve probably found yourself asking “Do I need more x-rays? I just had some last time I was here.” If so, you’re not alone. It’s a great question and one that dentists get fairly often.
There are a couple of different types of intra-oral x-rays, each of which show very different things to your dentist:
Bitewings: These x-rays are usually taken once a year at your routine dental cleanings. For some people they may be taken more frequently if they have a high risk and vulnerability to tooth decay. Bitewing x-rays show the areas between several of your teeth, so that the areas typically affected by cavities and tartar buildup can be spotted easily. This allows your dentist to monitor suspicious areas and catch them as soon as possible, preventing major dental treatment later on.
Periapicals: This type of film focuses on only one or two teeth, and shows the entire length of your root, as well as the bone around your root. PAs are necessary during root canal therapy, at an emergency appointment, or to check problematic teeth for signs of infection and bone loss.
Other full mouth types of dental x-rays are taken every 3-5 years, to provide your dentist with a comprehensive look at your overall oral health. These FMX sets or Panoramic x-rays show all of the teeth in the mouth as well as some surrounding anatomical structures.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care
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