Dental x-rays are an important part of routine dental care for both adults and children. Not only do dental
x-rays reveal potential problems with incoming teeth, they can also reveal potential problems caused by hidden plaque.
There are two different types of dental x-rays – bite wing and periapical. The bite wing x-ray is taken when the teeth bite down together and shows the crown portions of the top and bottom teeth. The periapical is a more selective x-ray taken to show one or two specific teeth from crown to root.
In children, routine dental x-rays are recommended because they show the position, number, and size of teeth and because they can detect the presence of cavities before they can be seen on the surface of the teeth. Without dental x-rays, a dentist must rely only on a visual examination of the teeth. Sometimes cavities begin forming from plaque lodged between the teeth where a dentist can’t see. With the aid of dental x-rays, hidden cavities can be detected and taken care of early so there is less damage to the tooth.