What are the different types of Digital Dental X-rays?

What are the different types of Digital Dental X-rays?


X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventive by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient’s mouth before they become a major problem.

What are the different types of Digital Dental X-rays?

  • Bite-wing X-rays. Highlight the crowns of the back teeth. Dentists take one or two bite-wing X-rays on each side of the mouth. Each X-ray shows the upper and lower molars (back teeth) and bicuspids (teeth in front of the molars). These X-rays are called “bite-wings” because you bite down on a wing-shaped device that holds a sensor in place while the X-ray is taken. These X-rays help dentists find decay between the back teeth.

    Bite-wing x-ray without cavities.

    Bite-wing x-ray with cavities.

Periapical X-rays. Highlight only one or two teeth at a time. A periapical X-ray looks similar to a bite-wing X-ray. However it shows the entire length of each tooth, from crown to root.

Periapical X-ray of Lower Front Teeth.

Periapical X-ray of Upper Front Teeth.

  • OPG X-ray. An OPG is a panoramic or wide view X-ray of the lower face, which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single image from crown to root to supporting structures and tissues. It demonstrates the number, position and growth of all teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. Depending on your oral health and dental history your dentist may recommend a full-mouth Radiograph or OPG.






What Digital X-rays Show

Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissue of the mouth.
These X-rays allow dentists to:

  • Find cavities.
  • Look at the tooth roots.
  • Allows the dentist to see inside a tooth and beneath the gums to assess the health of the bone and supporting tissues that hold teeth in place.
    Help diagnose periodontal disease (gum disease) and some types of infections.
  • See the status of developing teeth.
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