Do You Know About These Four Common Dental X-Ray Types?

Can you imagine a dentist’s appointment without an X-ray? Well, we cannot. After all, an X-ray helps a dentist with a variety of diagnoses and treatments. However, not all X-rays are the same, as there are a few different ways to perform this procedure. Each different type of dental X-ray reveals essential information about your oral hygiene. Therefore, let’s learn more about the different types of dental X-rays and how they help.

What’s The Use Of A X-ray?

Dental X-rays can help reveal multiple problems and signs of oral diseases. For example, in an adult, an X-ray can help out with the following:

  • Decay in between the teeth.
  • Decay beneath the dental fillings.
  • Change in bone structure or the roots due to an infection.
  • Signs for bone loss.

While an X-ray can help the dentist detect many problems that were not visible, a single procedure cannot yield all the results. Therefore, various ways to perform an X-ray reveal certain information that a dentist would like to observe.

Bitewing X-ray:

Bitewing X-ray is one of the common dental X-ray types that requires you to bite down on the X-ray film. The X-ray reveals the structure of teeth in a particular region to the level of the supporting bone. Bitewing X-ray enables a dentist to locate sneaky decay in between the teeth. In addition to decay location, this X-ray can also show changes in the bone structure due to disease. As we mentioned earlier, bitewing X-ray is a common procedure, so it is taken right in the dental chair.

Periapical X-ray:

Periapical X-ray shows the whole tooth from the crown to the root below. The whole teeth layer in either the upper jaw or the lower jaw is captured by the film. With roots visible in the X-ray, the dentist can easily observe any changes that occur in the root or the surrounding bone structure.

Occlusal X-ray:

This type of X-ray gives a detailed birds-eye view of the entire arch on either the lower or upper jaw. This type of dental X-ray aids in detecting cysts or helps track the growth of a misaligned tooth. These can also reveal developing teeth that can disrupt the growth and configuration of healthy teeth.

The above three were the three common types of intraoral X-rays, where the X-ray film is placed inside the mouth. However, that’s not all; there are extraoral X-rays, with the film being held outside the mouth. A common one is as follows:

Panoramic X-ray:

It’s the full view of the oral cavity from behind. With all the teeth in a single film, a dentist can note down the positions and alignment of teeth. This helps them to observe any new erupting tooth and how the eruption will impact other teeth. Furthermore, whole dental alignment also aids in a restorative or corrective procedure like getting braces.


We touch down on four major X-ray types and how they help a dentist take care of your smile. At Brenham Family Dental expert dentists will help you with any dental problem you may be facing. Call us at 979-421-9685 to know more about how we can help.

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