What are Digital Dental X-rays, Their Types & Problems They Detect?

What are Digital Dental X-rays, Their Types & Problems They Detect?

November 1, 2022

What are Digital Dental X-Rays?

They are types of radiography imaging that use a modernized approach to capture images of internal oral features. Ideally, digital dental x-rays, employ digital x-ray sensors instead of photographic x-ray film, typical in traditional radiography imaging. The result of the digital sensors is enhanced computer images of various oral features.

Types of Digital Dental X-Rays

If you visit an x-ray dentist near you, you will learn that there are primarily two main types of x-ray. They are:

a) Intraoral X-rays

They are the most common types of x-rays that dentists use. These x-rays take images inside the mouth to show different aspects of teeth. The intraoral x-rays feature a few types, including:

-> Bitewing X-rays

They detect oral issues for the upper and lower teeth. They focus on the crown (top part of the tooth) to the supporting bone (around the gum line). Bitewing x-rays can diagnose problems with your tooth crown, ranging from damaged dental fillings to problematic crowns and veneers. Besides, they can also diagnose gum disease by highlighting changes in the jawbone’s thickness.

-> Periapical X-rays

Periapical x-rays detect oral issues in the root and surrounding bone structures. These x-rays specialize in the areas beyond the gum line, identifying problems where the tooth attaches to the jaw.

-> Occlusal X-rays

They detect oral problems on the entire tooth arc, whether the upper or lower jaw. These x-rays are suitable for diagnosing development and placement issues of teeth relative to jaw alignment.

b) Extraoral X-rays

Extraoral x-rays take images outside the oral cavity, focusing on the jaw and skull. The types of extraoral x-rays are:

-> Panoramic X-rays

It provides a panoramic view of all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws in one x-ray. They help identify any eruption and developmental teeth, detecting impacted teeth.

-> Tomograms

Targets particular portions of the mouth that are otherwise difficult to see. The x-rays blur all surrounding features that may be blocking the view of the target oral feature.

-> MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

It is for soft-tissue evaluation, taking 3D images of the entire oral cavity, including the jaw and teeth.

-> Dental Computed Tomography (CT)

It takes 3D images of the bones of the face to identify problems such as fractures, cysts, and tumors.

-> Sialogram

Sialogram uses a dye to identify anomalies with the salivary glands, including Sjogren’s syndrome or blockages.

Common Problems That Can Be Identified by Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays are great diagnostic tools that allow dental experts to evaluate your oral health intently before determining a prognosis for treatment. Usually, our Irving dentist will not recommend an x-ray unless it is necessary for your comprehensive dental exam. Some of the oral problems that x-rays can detect and diagnose are:

  1. Dental Decay: sometimes a cavity is not openly visible when you open your mouth. X-rays help identify small areas of decay between teeth or beneath existing dental fillings.
  2. Bone Loss: jawbone health is crucial for optimal oral functionality. X-rays can identify issues with your bone health regarding an underlying infection.
  3. Tooth Health and Position: especially if you want to undergo treatment with dental crowns, dentures, implants, or bridges.
  4. Infected Root Canal: causing nerve pain or abscessed tooth.
  5. Gum Disease: especially when it begins to deteriorate the jawbone-s health.
  6. Eruption Problems: an x-ray can help determine whether there is ample room for new teeth to erupt. It can also detect wisdom teeth eruption and identify any impacted teeth.

Who Need X-Rays?

Children and adults alike benefit from radiographic imaging for their oral cavities. It should be your dentist guiding you on when to take the imaging tests for your oral cavity. Generally, kids may need more x-rays than adults since they are more prone to dental cavities and infections. The stakes are higher during their cavity-prone ages of 6 to 14 years. However, adults too need digital imaging to seek relevant oral treatment and sustain good oral health. Some factors that may increase your need for x-rays are:

  1. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  2. Having dry mouth syndrome – especially due to underlying conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome.
  3. A high intake of sugary liquids and foods
  4. Underlying health conditions that increase your risk of gum disease – like diabetes and obesity.

Visit an X-ray Dentist Near You

Are you looking for dental x-rays in Irving, TX? Call us now or book an appointment with us at Sterling Dental Center today!

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